URC – Preview – Emirates Lions Looking To Cement Their Top Eight Spot With Win Over Ospreys


The Emirates Lions will have their sights set on a victory against Ospreys in Swansea on Saturday at 17:05 (SA Time) after outplaying Connacht away last weekend, which saw them sneak into the top eight.

They will, however, brace themselves for a hard-fought encounter as only four points separate the sides on the log, while they have both won six of their 12 matches.

The Johannesburgers’ attack, however, has set them apart, with the team scoring 346 points in their 12 matches, the third best in the tournament this season, while the Ospreys have only scored 254, and they will certainly target this area as the eye their third win in a row.

With Ospreys boasting an impressive win record of five out of seven at home this season, this will serve as a big inspirational force to make up for their defeat against Munster last weekend.

The Ospreys have named their squad to face the Emirates Lions, naming Justin Tipuric to captain the side.

Gareth Thomas returns to start at loosehead, with Sam Parry lining up at hooker for his 150th appearance, and Tom Botha at tighthead completing the front three.

Adam Beard also returns to partner Rhys Davies at lock. James Ratti lines up at six, with Justin Tipuric on the other flank and Morgan Morris starting at eight.

Reuben Morgan-Williams gets the start at scrum half, with Owen Williams partnering him at 10. Owen Watkin lines up at inside centre with Evardi Boshoff taking up the 13 jersey.=

In the back three, Jack Walsh starts at full-back, with Keelan Giles on one wing and Luke Morgan on the other.

Max Nagy returns from injury to take up a place on the bench.

The Emirates Lions will look to capitalise on last weekend’s historic victory in Galway.

There is one change for the team from Johannesburg with prop Conraad van Vuuren coming in for the suspended Asenathi Ntlabakanye. Speedster Edwill van der Merwe runs out for his 50th appearance in Lions colours.

Assistant coach Ricardo Loubscher earlier this week:

“We respect all teams we play against especially away from home. For us, it’s about preparing well ahead of Saturday and rectifying the mistakes we made last time we played them in Johannesburg back in January.”

“We know they are a quality outfit, especially here in Swansea they are a tough side. For us, it’s just about taking another step forward by trying to put up another good performance. We were proud of our work rate, ball in play and the effort on defence last week, it was a big shift from our side.


Ospreys: 15 Jack Walsh, 14 Luke Morgan, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Justin Tipuric (c), 6 James Ratti, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Rhys Davies, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Gareth Thomas. Replacements: 16 Lewis Lloyd, 17 Garyn Phillips, 18 Ben Warren, 19 Huw Sutton, 20 Harri Deaves, 21 Luke Davies, 22 Max Nagy, 23 Keiran Williams.

Emirates Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Richard Kriel, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Marius Louw (c), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 JC Pretorius, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 PJ Botha, 1 JP Smith. Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Ruan Dryer, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Izan Esterhuizen, 21 Hanru Sirgel, 22 Morne van den Berg, 23 Stean Pienaar.