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Ospreys team to play Newport Gwent Dragons

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

30 Dec 2016

Paul James

Paul James will make his 210th Ospreys appearance in the New Year’s Day fixture against Newport Gwent Dragons and moves ahead of Andrew Bishop to go second in the all-time appearance list.

Dan Biggar will also make his 196th Ospreys appearance and moves ahead of Adam Jones to go fifth in the all-time appearance list.

Head Coach, Steve Tandy, commented:

“The Scarlets match was a typical derby, very physical, maybe not too easy on the eye, but tight and extremely competitive. It was good to see that we were able to keep our discipline and focus, and we put in a second half performance that ensured we took the win on the day. It was good to show that we can slug it out and win ugly. We aren’t just about scoring tries, we pride ourselves on defence and that side of our game was spot on against the Scarlets.

“We can expect more of the same at Rodney Parade, the Dragons have been in decent shape and always provide a challenge. There’ll be a big crowd and an atmosphere to match so it’ll be another real test for us as a group.

“If you look at this block of three games, we’ve got off to a good start with the win over the Scarlets but there’s plenty of work still to be done. We’ve got the Dragons, then Connacht at the Liberty next week, and only after that, when the PRO12 breaks for a month, will be sit down and look at where we are in the table, taking stock of our position.

“For our part, it’s all about staying focused and not getting carried away with ourselves. We are enjoying our rugby, enjoy the challenges being thrown at us, and it’s crucial that we keep plugging way, working hard on the training pitch during the week and transferring that into match day. If we can take care of that we know we’ll be heading in the right direction in 2017.”

The Ospreys team to play Newport Gwent Dragons at the Rodney Parade on Sunday 1stJanuary 2017, KO 5.05pm, is as follows:

15 Sam Davies
14 Dafydd Howells
13 Kieron Fonotia
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Dan Evans
10 Dan Biggar
9 Tom Habberfield

1 Paul James
2 Scott Baldwin
3 Ma’afu Fia
4 Lloyd Ashley
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)
6 Olly Cracknell
7 Justin Tipuric
8 James King

REPLACEMENTS
16 Sam Parry
17 Nicky Smith
18 Rhodri Jones
19 Rory Thornton
20 Dan Baker
21 Sam Underhill
22 Brendon Leonard
23 Hanno Dirksen