Shane Williams blow for Ospreys

Shane Williams will miss the big Magners League showdown with Leinster in Dublin on Friday as he has failed to recover from a dead leg in time.

New signing Jamie Nutbrown who plays at scrumhalf will also miss the clash and more than likely the next eight as he has a broken foot.

The Ospreys are however boosted by the return of Ryan Jones at No.8, Lee Byrne at full-back and James Hook at fly-half.

“Friday night looks set to be a cracking occasion, two in-form sides locking horns in front of a sell-out crowd,” said Ospreys coach Sean Holley.

“We’re all really excited about it, it’s matches like this that we are all involved in rugby for. The matches between the two of us have generally tended to be close affairs over the years and I wouldn’t expect it to be any different this time around.

“When you look at the Leinster side, they are the Magners League champions, they are packed with quality and experience and they have threats right across the field so the size of the challenge that lies ahead of us if we are to get a result there on Friday night is clear.

“They have forwards who seem to deliver week in week out, a first class defence and individuals of real ability behind so we know that we have to be on top of our game.

“However, we go into the game with confidence high after three straight wins and I don’t doubt for one minute that they will look at the side that we’ve named today and think exactly the same thing so it’s bound to be an intriguing clash.

Prop Paul James, on the bench, could set a new Ospreys record for appearances if he runs on as it will be for the 102nd time.

L Byrne; T Bowe, S Parker, A Bishop, N Walker; J Hook, R Webb; D Jones, H Bennett, A Jones; A Wyn-Jones, I Evans; J Thomas, S Tandy, R Jones (c).

Reps: E Shervington, P James, I Gough, F Tiatia, R Wells, D Bishop, J Vaughton.

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