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Ospreys v Munster - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Ospreys go in search of their second league win of the season when they host high-flying Munster in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Saturday.
Richard Hibbard will reach a century of appearances for the Ospreys when he features against Munster. Ryan Bevington is set to make his 50th appearance for the club.
The likes of Eli Walker (shoulder), James Goode (groin), Tom Habberfield (ankle), James King (shoulder) and Tom Grabham (bruised ribs) are also unavailable due to injury.
Denis Hurley makes his return for Munster after recovering from illness (tonsillitis) which kept him sidelined for the Newport Gwent Dragons game.
Conor Murray makes his first start of the season after coming off the bench for Ulster and Dragons, while Donnacha Ryan and Peter O'Mahony are included for the first time in a match day squad this season.
Ospreys: R Fussell, H Dirksen, A Bishop, A Beck, T Isaacs, D Biggar, K Fotuali'I, R Bevington, R Hibbard, A Jarvis, Alun Wyn Jones (Capt), I Evans, R Jones, J Tipuric, J Bearman. Replacements: S Baldwin, D Jones, A Jones, J Thomas, G Stowers, R Webb, M Morgan, R Jones.
Munster: D Hurley; D Howlett Capt., K Earls, C Laulala, S Zebo, R O'Gara, C Murray; W Du Preez, M Sherry, S Archer, D O'Callaghan, B Holland, T O'Donnell, N Ronan, P Butler. Replacements: D Varley, D Kilcoyne, BJ Botha, D Ryan, P O'Mahony, P Stringer, I Keatley, J Downey.
What they said...
Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees
"We were delighted with the win last Friday but that's forgotten about now, we've had to put that one to bed and move on. There's still a lot of work to be done, it was a better performance against the Scarlets but there's still a lot of room for improvement needed.
"We've said all along that these opening weeks of the season would see us looking at the wider squad, giving people a chance, and despite some disappointing results we believe it's been the right thing to do as we've learned a lot about the group moving forward.
"Munster have shown in the early weeks that once again they will be up there with the contenders. As always they are a big strong, with a powerful pack, but they've also developed some real cutting edge behind which makes them even more dangerous.
"Ospreys v Munster is a great contest and sums up what's best about the PRO12. We've had some great occasions here for this fixture, none more than last season where we had a big crowd and fantastic support. We need more of the same on Saturday."
Munster coach Rob Penney
"So far I think we're happy where we are; if you take the results and you think about where the team is going, in terms of the rugby stuff that is being delivered, I am over the moon.
"The bonus on the back of that positivity is that we were able to get some results in the early part of the competition, which is all good."
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 13th February|
|19:35||Ulster vs Treviso|
|20:05||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 14th February|
|19:35||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|12:45||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|13:00||Zebre vs Glasgow Warriors|
|15:00||Leinster vs Dragons|
|Friday 20th February|
|19:05||Treviso vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Ulster|
|19:35||Leinster vs Zebre|
|Saturday 21st February|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Munster|
|17:15||Glasgow Warriors vs Ospreys|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|16:00||Dragons vs Connacht|
|Friday 27th February|
|19:35||Ospreys vs Leinster|
|19:35||Ulster vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 28th February|
|19:15||Munster vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Sunday 1st March|
|12:45||Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh|
|17:00||Zebre vs Dragons|
|17:15||Connacht vs Treviso|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow Warriors|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com