The teams have been announced for the PRO12 match between Ospreys and Ulster Rugby which takes place on Saturday afternoon at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. Kick off 3:00 pm live on BBCNI.
We have opted for three changes with Craig Gilroy, Stuart McCloskey and Robbie Diack joining the starting line up at fullback, inside centre and No. 8 respectively. Stockdale, Olding and Henry making way. Stockdale and Olding take a place each on the bench but Henry misses out altogether through injury.
Franco van der Merwe and Nick Timoney also join the replacements.
With Scarlets, Ospreys and Ulster all vying for two playoff places the match is effectively a knockout match. In fact, if our boys win and Connacht beat Scarlets then Ulster should be through as Scarlets host Ospreys the following week, however, the boys from Belfast need to win this one first!!
I’d be a lot happier about our chances if Jared Payne was playing. The Kiwi brings a lot more control to the back line and I’d guess if he had been playing last weekend, against Munster, that Ulster would have won. As it was, our readers gave an average rating of “Wick” on the Ulster Fry Scale of Good so I’d guess we’d need to be pushing a “Lethal” this time round.
The direct McCloskey and the experienced Gilroy may be enough but the team will need to take their chances from the off and not give, an out of sorts, Ospreys a chance to settle. Unfortunately, we’ve let a lot of teams play their way back into a game this season so it could be argued that this is an ideal game for the home side to rediscover some form. It hasn’t taken much to put Ulster off their stride!
The FRU Predicts: I can easily see Ulster bottling another one but I’m going to have to go for an away win, chiefly because Ospreys are in the middle of such an abysmal run themselves! Don’t be surprised if Ulster nick the bonus point and all! #SUFTUM #LETHAL
|OSPREYS RUGBY||ULSTER RUGBY|
|Dan Evans||15||Craig Gilroy|
|Keelan Giles||14||Andrew Trimble|
|Kieron Fonotia||13||Luke Marshall|
|Ashley Beck||12||Stuart McCloskey|
|Tom Habberfield||11||Charles Piutau|
|Dan Biggar||10||Paddy Jackson|
|Rhys Webb||9||Ruan Pienaar|
|Nicky Smith||1||Andrew Warwick|
|Scott Baldwin||2||Rory Best|
|Brian Mujati||3||Wiehahn Herbst|
|Bradley Davies||4||Kieran Treadwell|
|Tyler Ardron||5||Alan O’Connor|
|Sam Underhill||6||Iain Henderson|
|Justin Tipuric||7||Sean Reidy|
|James King||8||Robbie Diack|
|Scott Otten||16||Rob Herring|
|Paul James||17||Callum Black|
|Rhodri Jones||18||Rodney Ah You|
|Lloyd Ashley||19||Franco vd Merwe|
|Dan Baker||20||Nick Timoney|
|Brendon Leonard||21||Paul Marshall|
|Sam Davies||22||Stuart Olding|
|Josh Matavesi||23||Jacob Stockdale|