Ospreys bid for league title

NEATH-SWANSEA Ospreys bid to kick off a dream weekend for the Welsh, and a miserable one for the Irish, by capturing the Celtic League tonight.

On the eve of a Triple Crown decider between the nations, the Ospreys will be crowned champions if they defeat the Gwent Dragons at Swansea (7.05pm) and Munster fail to get a point from their game against Ulster in Musgrave Park (7pm, Setanta Sports).

However, if Munster can keep their unbeaten home record this season alive, the title fight will go on. Alan Gaffney's side are the only undefeated outfit at home in the competition this season their last reversal on home soil in any competition was to Edinburgh at Cork last April.

Ulster need a win to maintain their push for a European Cup spot. Andy Ward makes his first start of the season for Mark McCall's side. Ward comes in at blind-side forward in place of Campbell Feather. Ward, due to retire at the end of the season, is joined in the back-row by Neil Best and Roger Wilson.

Also included in the side is full-back Bryn Cunningham who has made a remarkable recovery from a collar-bone injury sustained in the Ireland 'A' game against the French last Friday, and international wing Tommy Bowe.

"Munster still have hopes of winning the title while we ned the points to move up the table,'' McCall said.

MUNSTER: Payne; Kelly, Mullins, Henderson, Horgan; Burke, Murphy; Roche, Flannery, McIlwham; Hogan, Bowman; Quinlan, Wallace, Williams (Capt).

Replacements: Blaney, McGovern, Hayes, Keogh, Prendergast, Holland, Devlin.

ULSTER: Cunningham, Bowe, Mallon, Steinmetz, Howe, Larkin, Campbell; McCormack, Shields, Moore, Longwell, McCullough, Ward, N Best, Wilson.

Replacements: Brady, B Young, Barker, Feather, Doak, S Young, Stewart.

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