Match Preview | Ospreys

Match Preview | Ospreys

Glasgow Warriors will be looking to make it back-to-back victories over Welsh opposition this weekend, as Danny Wilson’s side travels to Swansea to take on the Ospreys in round three of the 2020/21 Guinness PRO14.

A 20-7 triumph over the Scarlets last time out saw the Warriors notch their first win of the new campaign, opening their account in their first match at Scotstoun since February.

Wilson and his squad now travel to the Liberty Stadium for the first time since November 2018, refreshed following a week’s break from Guinness PRO14 action.

Whilst both sides will be without a host of international stars, the stage is still set for a highly competitive affair on Saturday evening.

Here’s how the Ospreys shape up ahead of this weekend’s clash:

Ospreys form guide

After a difficult 2019/20 campaign, the Ospreys have made a solid start to the new campaign with a win and a loss from their two outings so far in 2020/21.

An impressive 25-10 win away to Edinburgh in round one got the new season off to the perfect start from an Ospreys perspective, summer signing Mat Protheroe’s brace adding to an early score from Nicky Smith.

The Swansea-based outfit were unable to back that result up in round two, however, as Ulster came away from the Liberty Stadium with a 24-12 victory.

Summer departures

The Ospreys waved goodbye to a host of experienced heads during the off-season, including Wales and British and Irish Lions star James Hook; the utility back hung up his boots for the final time, embarking on a fledgling career as a children’s author.

Back-rower Dan Baker also bade farewell to the Liberty Stadium, as the Welsh international joined French outfit Mont-de-Marsan.

Aled Davies was another established figure to depart over the summer, following the scrum-half’s decision to join Saracens.

New arrivals

A new face in the coaching box oversaw the Ospreys’ return to rugby in August, as former Bath Head Coach Toby Booth joined the club to replace Allan Clarke.

Former Osprey Rhys Webb was the headline addition over the summer months, as the 2017 British and Irish Lion returned to Swansea following stints at Toulon and Bath.

Promising young outside back Protheroe was also lured to the Liberty Stadium from Bristol Bears, whilst the vastly experienced Stephen Myler arrived from London Irish.

Ones to watch

Already drawing comparisons to Wales legend Scott Gibbs, centre Kieran Williams has made an impressive start to the 2020/21 campaign in the Ospreys midfield. A powerful and pacy runner, the 23-year-old has the ability to make line breaks at the drop of a hat as well as free his outside backs.

The third-highest points scorer in English Premiership history, Myler’s signature could prove to be a shrewd addition by the Ospreys this season. Deadeye from the tee and an experienced game manager, the fly-half is one of the best in the business at controlling the tempo for his side.

Getting past Olly Cracknell and the Ospreys defence will be key for the Warriors if they want to come away from Swansea with the victory, something that the back-rower will be aiming to prevent. The 26-year-old is tenacious in defence, whilst also offering a dynamic ball-carrying presence when going forward.

Previous Encounters

With both fixtures in 2019/20 having been cancelled due to the COVID-19-enforced suspension of the Guinness PRO14, you have to go back to January 2019 for the most recent meeting of Glasgow Warriors and Ospreys.

On that occasion, a battle of the boots went the way of the Warriors at Scotstoun, as three penalties from Brandon Thomson saw Glasgow edge a 9-3 victory in atrocious conditions.

It was a far more open affair on Glasgow’s last visit to Swansea, as the Warriors claimed a bonus-point 29-20 win over the Ospreys.

A hat-trick from Niko Matawalu and Nick Grigg’s score with 20 minutes to play earned the visitors all five points, Thomson contributing nine points from the tee.

Match officials

The experienced figure of George Clancy will be the man in the middle on Saturday evening, as the Irishman takes charge of his 125th Guinness PRO14 match.

Clancy will be assisted by Ben Whitehouse and Dan Jones, along with Television Match Official Jon Mason.

Broadcast Information

Saturday’s match is live on Premier Sports 1, with kick-off scheduled for 5.30pm.

You can also keep up to date with all the action as it happens on our Live Match Centre – head to glasgowwarriors.org on Saturday evening and follow every minute.

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