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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 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|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|19:35||Ulster vs Leinster|
|Saturday 25th April|
|TBC||Munster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Cardiff Blues vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Scarlets|
|TBC||Connacht vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 9th May|
|TBC||Ulster vs Munster|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Connacht 53 - 5 Treviso|
|Zebre 23 - 17 Dragons|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 15 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Munster 22 - 10 Glasgow Warriors|
|Friday 27th February|
|Ospreys 9 - 9 Leinster|
|Ulster 25 - 20 Scarlets|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
|Sunday 11th January|
|Ospreys 22 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Benetton Treviso 20 - 24 Ulster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com