Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Exiles Clash Is the Ultimate Test, Says Ospreys Star

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Exiles Clash Is the Ultimate Test, Says Ospreys Star

Article excerpt

OSPREYS star Shane Williams has described tonight's Heineken Cup showdown against in-form London Irish as "the ultimate test".

And Wales' record international tryscorer knows the Ospreys cannot afford another defeat after a late Paul Sackey score edged a tense 19-14 Pool Three verdict for Toulon last weekend.

With twice European champions Munster also in the Ospreys' group, Williams and company must get it right when the Aviva Premiership leaders arrive at Liberty Stadium.

"It doesn't get much bigger really, does it?" he said. "We've got the in-form team in England at the Liberty Stadium in a must-win Heineken Cup game. That is the ultimate test.

"They will be full of confidence after a big win over Munster and they will want to cement their place at the top of the group, so we know that it is going to be a tough evening. We are starting from behind given that we only picked up a point in Toulon, but there is a long way to go in this group and a lot of rugby still to be played."

The Ospreys show a solitary change from Toulon, but it is an intriguing one, with Wales captain and back-row forward Ryan Jones selected at lock alongside Alun-Wyn Jones.

Irish, fresh from beating Munster five days ago, are without full-back Delon Armitage, who is rested due to England elite player squad requirements, so Topsy Ojo wears the number 15 shirt and 19-year-old Jonathan Joseph starts on the wing. …

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