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Ospreys vs Leinster Rugby
Pro Rugby
Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Sunday, 8th November 2020, 15:00

TV: Live on TG4 and Eir Sports

Leinster earned an impressive win last Monday against a Glasgow team stacked with international backs. They also got another four try bonus point to maintain their record of obtaining maximum points from all four fixtures this season. A number of youngsters stood out like Harry Byrne, Scott Penny and Tommy O'Brien. A special mention needs to go to Jimmy O'Brien who once again filled in at full back with aplomb. While more known for playing centre, JOB has gone really well when he's played full back. He's quick, a sound tackler and he kicks intelligently off his left boot. We probably haven't seen enough of him under the high ball to mark that particular skill yet, but he's emerged as a promising option in the fifteen jersey.

This week Leinster are on the road again against the woebegone Ospreys. Once the standout Welsh team in the league, and four-time champions, they have regressed badly in the last three seasons. In the three years since the league has been split into conferences they haven't made the play-offs. They've had a bit of a strange season so far starting with a decent win away to Edinburgh before losing at home to Ulster. Then they had a fine win over Glasgow at home before losing away to perennial strugglers Zebre last Monday, So it's hard to know what to expect tomorrow.

Their coach Toby Booth has named a team with a mixture of promising youth players like Joe Hawkins, Reuben Morgan-Williams and Josh Thomas and experienced internationals in Scott Williams, Adam Beard and Bradley Davies. Dan Lydiate captains the team from openside flanker. They're missing three unnamed players due to Covid guidelines but it's still an interesting looking side.

For Leinster there are just two changes from last week. Birr's Michael Milne makes his first start at loosehead prop after making 11 appearances off the bench. Scott Fardy makes a rare start in the second row in the other change from last week. Ross Molony will make his 100th Leinster appearance tomorrow.

Last season's game in the Liberty was actually a fairly tough contest for Leinster, but their strength up front should see them prevail tomorrow afternoon.

Team Lineups

Leinster Rugby
Teams Cai Evans 15 Jimmy O'Brien
Mat Protheroe 14 Cian Kelleher
Scott Williams 13 Rory O'Loughlin
Joe Hawkins 12 Tommy O'Brien
Luke Morgan 11 Dave Kearney
Josh Thomas 10 Harry Byrne
Reuben Morgan-Williams 9 Luke McGrath

Rhodri Jones 1 Michael Milne
Dewi Lake 2 James Tracy
Ma'afu Fia 3 Michael Bent
Adam Beard 4 Ross Molony
Bradley Davies 5 Scott Fardy
Will Griffiths 6 Josh Murphy
Dan Lydiate (C)
7 Scott Penny
Gareth Evans 8 Rhys Ruddock (C)

Replacements Ifan Phillips 16 Dan Sheehan
Gareth Thomas 17 Peter Dooley
Tom Botha 18 Ciaran Parker
Rhys Davies 19 Devin Toner
Olly Cracknell 20 Dan Leavy
Shaun Venter 21 Hugh O'Sullivan
Callum Carson 22 David Hawkshaw
Hanno Dirksen 23 Liam Turner

Not Considered
due to Injury

Vakh Abdaladze,
Conor O'Brien,
Adam Byrne,
Tadhg Furlong,
Max Deegan,
Ryan Baird,
Jordan Larmour,
Garry Ringrose,
Jack Conan,
Sean Cronin
Officials Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU)

by Jim O'Connor, © 2020-11-09