Biarritz v Ospreys preview

The Ospreys will travel to San Sebastian to face Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque on Saturday for their Heineken Cup quarter final and Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley says the match is going to be a real challenge.

“They are a well organised, well coached team that have a lot of threats. They have the form player in Europe at the moment in Harinordoquy, and some seasoned pro’s that have led them into this stage of the competition many times before.

“It’s going to be a real challenge, but we are really excited about it. This is what we are all involved in professional rugby for, big occasions like this weekend, and Saturday afternoon can’t come soon enough for the group.

“We’ve worked hard to improve our style of play this year and we were certainly at a place where we wanted to be before the Six Nations, the performance against Leicester in January was probably up there as the best we’ve seen from the Ospreys.

“We’ve certainly not hit those heights since the players returned, but we’ve been focussing on getting back up to speed and the signs are that we are getting back into that groove.

“There was a big improvement for the Scarlets match last weekend, but we realise that there is a big step up required again this week if we are going to reach the required performance levels. In fairness to the players, they realise that, they are good, honest professionals who are putting the hours in and will be ready for it.

“The mood in the camp is very good, I’d say it’s one of positive determination. There’s an excellent spirit, people are enjoying themselves, they are training and going about the place with smiles on their faces. Don’t forget, we are talking about British Lions, Grand Slam winners and All Blacks so they are used to pressure, they know how to handle it, and in fairness, they are really enjoying the build-up.

We know it’s going to be tough out there, we are facing a very good side, but when you get to the final eight, whoever you face, at home or away, it isn’t going to be easy. There are a lot of good teams out there who would love to swap places with us this weekend, so we are making sure that we enjoy it.”

Heineken Cup Quarter final
Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque v Ospreys
Venue : Estadio Anoeta, San Sebastian
Date : Saturday 10th April 2010
Kick Off : 16:00
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)


Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque: I Balshaw, T Ngwenya, K Hunt, D Traille, I Bolakoro, J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili, E Coetzee, B August, C Johnstone, J Thion [capt], M Carizza, W Lauret, I Harinordoquy, F Faure

Replacements: R Terrain, F Barcella, R Hugues, T Hall, F Alexandre, V Courrent, A Mignardi, J Gobelet

Ospreys: L Byrne, T Bowe, A Bishop, J Hook, S Williams, D Biggar, M Phillips, P James, H Bennett, A Jones, A Jones, J Thomas, J Collins, M Holah, R Jones [capt]

Replacements: E Shervington, R Bevington, C Mitchell, I Gough, F Tiatia, J Nutbrown, S Parker, N Walker

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