This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse RFU.com you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more by viewing our privacy and cookie policy.

Morgan returns to join home town club

30 January 2004

Neath born back row Scott Morgan returns to the Tykes starting line up to play against his home town club.  19-year-old prop Michael Cusack will make his full debut at loose head whilst Scottish international Gavin Kerr will start his first game for the club this season.  Alan Dickens returns after missing 12 games with a broken bone in his hand.  Phil Murphy swaps places with Stuart Hooper this week, with the latter appearing on the bench.  Welsh international Alix Popham is amongst the replacements along with Scottish international fly half Duncan Hodge who has been out since 31st October with a dislocated elbow.

England U21 scrum half Clive Stuart-Smith also makes a return from injury, he has missed the last four games with a knee injury.

Ahead of the game, P{hil Davies, the Tykes director of rugby said,  "Saturday is a big game for us and I'm sure it will be for the Ospreys even though neither of us can qualify.  We showed some real signs of improvement last week against Toulouse and we need to continue that this week.

We have used the last two games in the Heineken Cup campaign to rotate a few players and give them experience of playing at this level.  We are also close to having a fully fit squad this week with only Matt Salter and David Rees unavailable which has given us more options with the squad.

The Ospreys have had a disappointing Heineken Cup campaign but they were in great form at the start of the Celtic League.  I watched their game against Toulouse a fortnight ago and they looked dangerous on attack with the likes of Shane Williams, Gavin Henson and Adrian Durston.  On that night, like ourselves, they found it hard on defence against Toulouse but they will be out to finish on a high at home this week.

Lyn Jones is an outstanding coach and I'm sure he will get the Ospreys back to their best over the coming months.  He was coach of Pontypridd when they knocked us out of Europe over the past two seasons so he knows how to beat us! I always look forward to going back to Wales and Saturday will be no different.

The Heineken Cup has been a massive learning experience for all of us, coaches and players, but above all it has made us more determined to get back into the competition.  The Heineken Cup is the level we need to be performing at and we can only improve the more we play in the competition.

Both our injured scrum halves, Alan Dickens and Clive Stuart-Smith, return to action this week.  Ryan Walker has done a great job in recent weeks, he has been our only fit scrum half on the books and he will get a well earned rest this week.  Gavin Kerr will make his first start in the front row this season.  Gavin came off the bench last week which was important for him to get back out there.  It will obviously take him time to get back up to the pace of the game but Saturday will be a big boost for him."

Backs

15. Matt Cardey
14. Liam Botham
13. Phil Christophers
12. Andre Snyman
11. Dan Scarbrough
10. Gordon Ross
9. Alan Dickens

Forwards

1. Michael Cusack
2. Mark Regan
3. Gavin Kerr
4. Phil Murphy
5. Tom Palmer (c)
6. Scott Morgan
7. Dan Hyde
8. Colm Rigney

Replacements

16. Rob Rawlinson
17. Matt Holt
18. Stuart Hooper
19. Alix Popham
20. Clive Stuart-Smith
21. Duncan Hodge
22. Tristan Davies