Friday, 11 September 2009

Thomas set for comeback

Jonathan Thomas returns to action after seven months out through a groin injury, and is joined among the replacements by British & Irish Lion Tommy Bowe, who will make his first appearance of the season if he comes on from the bench.

Sonny Parker comes into the squad to replace Jonathan Spratt, who has shown signs of fatigue in training this week and has been rested. He is expected to train as normal over the coming week and will be available for selection next weekend.

Ospreys coach Jonathan Humphreys commented: "We welcome back Jonathan Thomas after a lengthy lay-off and it's great to see him back again, he's had a pretty frustrating time of it but he's on the comeback trail which is great news. Likewise, with Tommy returning to action after the Lions tour, it's good to see the options available to us as coaches increasing.

"We're pretty satisfied with the result in Connacht last week, to come away from what is a difficult place with a win. It could have been far worse, there were some surprising results in the first week. It was our intention to get off to a positive start and we did that. There's still a lot for us to work on, which is quite pleasing really, we don't want to be hitting the ground at 100 per cent, we are building into it and as the season progresses we'll pick up the percentages as we go.

"We've looked at the video of last weekend's game, we've worked hard to improve in certain areas, and I'd expect to see us stepping up a level on Saturday evening. We want to go out on Saturday and send the right messages out to our supporters, in terms of what we want to achieve this season. We're very excited about coming back for the start of the season and it'll be great to see a big crowd waiting for us.

"As long as our mentality is right, as long as we show the pride I expect in the performance for the first home game and set the standards, we'll be alright and it will set us off in good stead for the rest of the season. The rest will follow."

Ospreys: 15 Barry Davies 14 Jonny Vaughton 13 Sonny Parker 12 Andrew Bishop 11 Nikki Walker 10 James Hook 9 Mike Phillips; 1 Paul James 2 Richard Hibbard 3 Cai Griffiths 4 Ian Gough 5 Andy Lloyd 6 Jerry Collins 7 Marty Holah 8 Ryan Jones (capt)

Replacements: 16 Huw Bennett 17 Duncan Jones 18 Jonathan Thomas 19 Tom Smith 20 Jamie Nutbrown 21 Dan Biggar 22 Tommy Bowe


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