Ospreys on a revenge mission against Castres

THE Ospreys’ coach Lyn Jones is looking to the future ahead of this afternoon’s Heineken Cup Pool Four meeting with Castres at The Gnoll.

“Whilst we are disappointed with losing the game in Limerick at the weekend, we take great pride from how competitive we have been and how well we performed against one of the best teams in Europe. We are further ahead in our development than we expected to be and are looking forward optimistically to next season.

“As far as we are concerned next seasons competition starts on Saturday. The players have a responsibility to the supporters, directors and themselves to go out and beat Castres. We will be fielding our strongest available squad against a top French outfit who beat us convincingly in France. We are looking forward to having an opportunity to reverse the result,” Jones added.

The Ospreys will be without prop Duncan Jones, who injured his thumb last week and is out for six weeks.

Wales lock Brent Cockbain is struggling with a dead leg and starts on the bench, whilst young fly-half Matthew Jones is out with a head injury.

Gavin Henson moves from centre to fly-half and David Bishop starts in midfield.

Back-up hooker Huw Bennett misses the rest of the season due to his neck problem requiring surgery.

The Ospreys suffered a chastening 38-17 defeat away in Castres in the opening Heineken Cup game last October with Wales forward Jonathan Thomas being sent off in the closing moments for lashing out at Castres prop Mauricio Reggiardo after he was held back.

Meanwhile The Ospreys have denied rumours that they are interested in making a move for 31-year-old England and Wasps lock Simon Shaw.

“He is a good player, but he is nothing to do with us,” said Ospreys team manager Derwyn Jones.

Castres had problematic preparation for the game as their chartered plane was unable to fly from Toulouse due to fog yesterday. The team then went by coach from Toulouse to the airport at Carcassonne and after a delay of several hours they eventually set off.

OSPREYS: S Terblanche; E Seveali’i, D Bishop, S Parker, S Williams; G Henson, J Spice; P James, B Williams (capt), A Jones, A Newman, J Thomas, A Lloyd, S Tandy, R Jones.

Replacements: R Hibbard, A Millward, C Griffiths, B Cockbain, R Pugh, M Jones, A Durston.

CASTRES: Metcalfe; Mola, Marticorena, Denney, Raffault; Delaigue, Albouy, Reggiardo, Vigneaux, Galasso, Nallet, Spanghero, Froment, R Capo Ortega, Volley.

Replacements: Argenese, F Capo Ortega, Deen, Bernad, Dourthe, Bory, Morlaes.

Referee: Tony Spreadbury (England)

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