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Giant Lions return to Ospreys line-up to face SA tour foes once again

By Ian Cameron

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The Ospreys will receive a giant boost this weekend as they welcome two outsized Lions to their starting line-up for the Cell C Sharks in the United Rugby Championship.

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Adam Beard and Alun Wyn Jones, returning from the unsuccessful British & Irish Lions tour, come straight into the starting line-up.

The 6 foot 9 inch Beard featured in the back-to-back games against the Natal-based side in the summer, while Jones (who Beard had replaced) had yet to return to the tour.

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Ospreys Head Coach Toby Booth said: “Having seen the Sharks selection, we know they are big and there are four second rows in that starting line-up. There was a lot of forward orientated stuff in our performance against Cardiff, and that has clearly been thought of. We know they are going to be physical and will have a good kicking game. It will be a different challenge and an exciting one because we are playing someone new.”

Meanwhile, Thomas du Toit will captain Cell C Sharks with the absence of Phepsi Buthelezi, who plays off the bench this week.

“There were many positives to take away from the match against Glasgow,” said Sharks Head Coach, Sean Everitt. “Even though we are missing 14 of our key players, our youngsters against an experienced Glasgow team, put their hands up in the second half. We are looking for a complete performance from the players. The team has worked hard this week and have been relentless in our preparation for the match against Ospreys.”

Ospreys: Dan Evans, Mat Protheroe, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Owen Watkin, Luke Morgan, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb (CAPT), Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris

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Replacements: Elvis Taione, Gareth Thomas, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, Ethan Roots, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Stephen Myler, Joe Hawkins

Cell C Sharks: Anthony Volmink, Marnus Potgieter, Jeremy Ward, Marius Louw, Thaakir Abrahams, Boeta Chamberlain, Ruan Pienaar, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Kerron van Vuuren, Thomas du Toit (CAPT), Ruben van Heerden, Hyron Andrews, James Venter, Gerbrandt Grobler, Henco Venter

Replacements: Dan Jooste, Khwezi Mona, Lourens Adriaanse, Le Roux Roets, Phepsi Buthelezi, Dylan Richardson, Sanele Nohamba, Werner Kok

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Giant Lions return to Ospreys line-up to face SA tour foes once again

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