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Ospreys v Zebre - RaboDirect Pro 12 match preview
Youngster Matthew Morgan has been named at full-back for the Ospreys in their RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Zebre on Friday at Liberty Stadium.
The Ospreys are up to fifth in the table thanks to some dominant performances recently and have selected a strong starting line-up in an effort to continue that run.
Meanwhile, Zebre will be eager to bounce back from their back-to-back defeats to Italian neighbours Treviso when they play this weekend.
Leading the side from centre will be Gonzalo Garcia, while Paolo Buso and Alberto Chillon are at fly-half and scrum-half respectively.
Ospreys: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Ross Jones, 13 Tom Issacs, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Jamies King, 5 Lloyd Peers, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones (capt), 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Campbell Johnstone, 19 George Stowers, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Jonathan Spratt, 23 Richard Fussell.
Zebre: 15 Alberto Benettin, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Roberto Quartaroli, 12 Gonzalo Garcia (capt) 11 Samuele Pace, 10 Paolo Buso, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Nicola Belardo, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Michael Van Vuren, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 David Ryan, 2 Davide Giazzon, 1 Andrea De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Carlo Fazzari, 18 Luciano Leibson, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Daniel Halangahu, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Alberto Chiesa, 23 Ruggero Trevisan.
What they said...
Ospreys coach Steve Tandy
"We've built up some good momentum over the last few weeks which have put us in a decent place in terms of pushing into the top four of the PRO12 and keeping our European hopes alive.
"We mustn't let that hard work and effort go to waste now though, and it's important that we perform well against Zebre on Friday night.
"As with any Italian team they are a tough, physical bunch and going into the game on the back of two Welsh derbies in five days we need to use the squad as much as we can for this one.
"We know that they will make life difficult for us but we have to focus on our own game, and concentrate on what we need to do to ensure we get the performance levels we expect from the group."
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 21st February|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 21st December|
|Dragons 25 - 11 Zebre|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com