Ospreys v Worcester Warriors
October 26, 2008
Gavin Henson makes his return for the Ospreys against Worcester © Getty Images
Fly half Matthew Jones will make a return to his former club Ospreys when Worcester Warriors travel to the Liberty Stadium in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Sunday
Jones has recovered from an ankle injury and will line up against his old side as Warriors look to make it two wins out of two in the cup competition. Warriors, who will be captained by Greg Rawlinson, make three changes to the starting line-up to the side that defeated Bucuresti Oaks in Europe, with Chris Pennell returning on the wing in place of Miles Benjamin who is ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Full back Chris Latham returns after being rested for the trip to Romania and is named vice-captain. Jake Abbott comes into the back row with Tom Wood injured. Rob Wood is named among the replacements.
Head Coach Clive Griffiths is eager for Warriors to perform in Wales and has backed Jones to make a successful return to his former club. "Matthew is looking forward to going back as he had some good days with Neath and the Ospreys, he will have a point to prove," he said. "Apart from Wasps away, this is the biggest test for Matthew. He has come in having played National One and it is a massive step up. People think it is just a small transition but it is a huge step up. "Now he is getting more confident and getting to know the guys better. Matt is grabbing the chance with his own unique style and he commands the respect of the forwards.
"It is a big game for Matthew and he will need to keep a lid on it, his emotions will be running high. The game is all about emotion and if you let them get the better of you then it falls apart. But he knows what he has to do."
Ospreys coach Sean Holley has named Gavin Henson in the starting line-up, with skipper Ryan Jones among the replacements. Wales lock Alun Wyn-Jones also takes a place on the bench after a tough game with Perpignan last weekend.
New signing Jamie Nutbrown has recovered from injury and is on the bench while Scotland international Nikki Walker takes his place on the wing.
Holley said, "After a demanding fortnight in the Heineken Cup, we have to switch our focus to the Anglo-Welsh Cup this weekend, and the unique and very different challenges which this competition presents. Worcester are a top side with some big names in the likes of Chris Latham, Pat Sanderson and Sam Tuitupou.
"We are delighted to welcome back Nikki Walker, James Hook, Lyndon Bateman and Jamie Nutbrown after injury, it's always good to see players returning to action and increasing the options available in the squad for a match-day. Jamie in particular is desperate to pull the shirt on again having only figured in two games for us to date, and we are excited by that prospect.
"We've selected a very experienced side, with 16 of the 22 having more than 50 Ospreys appearances to their name. We will need all of that experience for this challenge, but we are all looking forward to it immensely and hope that we'll have a big crowd behind as we look to build on last week.
"Our results have been good of late, but we feel that we can still improve in lots of aspects of our game. The players have been extremely diligent and focused this week and want to take a step closer to retaining this trophy.
Ospreys: Lee Byrne, Nikki Walker, Tommy Bowe, Gavin Henson, Shane Williams, James Hook, Rhys Webb, Filo Tiatia, Steve Tandy, Tom Smith, Lyndon Bateman, Ian Gough, Andrew Millward, Huw Bennett, Duncan Jones (c)
Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Alun-wyn Jones, Ryan Jones, Jamie Nutbrown, Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop
Worcester Warriors: Chris Latham, Rico Gear, Alex Grove, Sam Tuitupou, Chris Pennell, Matthew Jones, Ryan Powell, Matt Mullan, Aleki Lutui, Tevita Taumoepeau, Greg Rawlinson (c), Craig Gillies, Matt Cox, Jake Abbott, Netani Talei
Replacements: Darren Morris, Shaun Ruwers, Graham Kitchener, Rob Wood, Matt Powell, Loki Crichton, Charlie Fellows