2016-17 PRO14

Teams up for Ospreys v Ulster

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

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

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