Match Preview: Ospreys v Scarlets

Match Preview: Ospreys v Scarlets

For these two teams, there’s no game quite like it. It’s the west Wales derby and it means a huge amount, as long-serving Ospreys prop Nicky Smith confirms.

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t the fixture we looked forward to the most in the season,” he said. “It’s exciting. All the boys are buzzing around the place and really looking forward for Sunday to come.

“There’s that little bit of extra spice to it. It’s bragging rights and personal battles with your opposite number. Put all that together and it’s hopefully a recipe for a cracking game.

“They are going to be raring to go and we are excited for the challenge.”

The Scarlets haven’t won in Swansea since 2017 and coach Dwayne Peel recognises how much his team’s fans would love to see that barren run come to an end.

“It’s a game that always means a lot to our supporters,” said the former Wales scrum-half. “There’s a lot at stake. It’s a big day in the calendar, I loved it as a player.

“The first thing you speak about is the rivalry when you look back at the past games. We haven’t won in Swansea for a while, so that’s a big challenge for us.

“The Ospreys are a tough team to beat. Their forward pack can be really abrasive. They have always been a combative side and that’s the challenge we have to rise to. We have our own style, they have their style, so it will be good. Derbies tend to throw up different emotions, different styles of play.

“We are under no illusions. To go there and win, we are going to have to be very good.

“We seem to have all our Welsh derbies close together at the moment. We have Cardiff again next week, having played them a couple of weeks back.

“You can really steal a march in these next couple of weeks in terms of being the best Welsh team and that’s what we want to be.”

Wales captain Jac Morgan makes his first start of the season in the Ospreys back row as he lines up against his former team. Peel said: “Jac is obviously very well known here. I think his game is getting better and better. He has been outstanding and he’s obviously got leadership qualities.”

The Scarlets have half-backs Gareth Davies and Ioan Lloyd on board once more, while Tongan international Vaea Fifita also returns on the flank.

Ospreys v Scarlets Stadium, Swansea – KO 15.00 IRE & UK / 16.00 ITA / 17.00 SA

Referee: Mike English (WRU, debut)

AR 1: Adam Jones (WRU) AR 2: Rhys Jones (WRU)

TMO: Ian Davies (WRU)

Live on: Viaplay, Premier Sports, SuperSport, Flo Rugby &


Ospreys: Max Nagy, Daniel Kasende, Owen Watkin, Keiran Williams, Luke Morgan, Jack Walsh, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Nicky Smith, Dewi Lake, Tom Botha, James Fender, Adam Beard, Rhys Davies, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris (CAPT)

Replacements: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Rhys Henry, Harri Deaves, Tristan Davies, Rewan Kruger, Dan Edwards, Luke Scully

Scarlets: Johnny McNIcholl, Tom Rogers, Joe Roberts, Johnny Williams, Steff Evans, Ioan Lloyd, Gareth Davies (CAPT), Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Harri O’Connor, Alex Craig, Jac Price, Vaea Fifita, Teddy Leatherbarrow, Carwyn Tuipulotu

Replacements: Shaun Evans, Steff Thomas, Joe Jones, Morgan Jones, Ben Williams, Kieran Hardy, Charlie Titcombe, Ioan Nicholas

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