The fixture, on Friday 15th February (7.35pm KO) has been switched to the home of Bridgend Ravens for “performance reasons”, to give the players a maximum seven day recovery and turnaround between Rounds 15 and 16 at a time when the Ospreys squad is expected to be depleted due to international calls during the Six Nations.
With the Swans at home on Saturday 16th February, it meant the Liberty Stadium was only available on the Sunday, which would have left the team with a reduced five-day turnaround leading into the clash with Conference A leaders, Munster, the next weekend.
A week later the Ospreys head to Galway to take on Connacht, who currently sit just one place behind the Ospreys in Conference A, the two teams level on points but the Irish province just outside the play-off spots in fourth only by virtue of the Ospreys having one more win at this point.
FIXTURE UPDATE ? | Our Guinness PRO14 Round 15 game v Ospreys will be played at Morganstone Brewery Field, Bridgend on Friday 15th February (7.35pm) pic.twitter.com/Sg8g6HG7J2
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) January 10, 2019
“I would plead with our supporters to support us, get up there in full voice, get behind their team and really motivate us to deliver again in a really important game against Ulster” said Clarke.
“For performance reasons, and solely performance reasons, it’s really important we go to Bridgend. When you look at it from a squad perspective, we either play Ulster and Munster Sunday/Friday, or we have the luxury of going to Bridgend and play Friday/Friday.
“Those couple of days extra for recovery, to recharge our batteries, to get our homework done, are absolutely critical to us. We know it’s a defining period of our season, to keep us firmly in contention for the play-off places, it’s really important that we are at our optimum best, physically and mentally, so that the boys can go out and perform in three massive games for us, against Ulster, Munster and Connacht. That seven day window is going to be priceless to us in terms of delivering the performances that we need.”
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