Phillips left out of Ospreys side against Dragons

Nikki Walker makes his 100th Ospreys appearance as they entertain Welsh rivals the Newport Gwent Dragons as the they leave want-away scrum-half Mike Phillips out of the 23 altogether for the match.

Director of Coaching, Scott Johnson commented: “It’s a big period for us now, we’ve got three games left to secure a place in the top four and there’s everything to play for. We know what we need to do. “It’s always a very difficult place to go, but we realise that what we need to do is focus on our own preparation, be diligent and thorough about the way we go about things, and ensure that we are clinical on the night. If the players know their jobs and do their homework on the opposition then we are confident that we can put in the level of performance required.

“We’re playing a team that enjoy playing at home and have a great record there, including beating Munster earlier this season. They are dangerous because they can get continuity into their game over a season, they aren’t as affected by international calls as others so they have the same group of players involved all season long, and continuity is the obvious benefit of having less players absent. “It’s going to be a bumpy ride, they’ll try to make life difficult for us, but we’ve got to be professional and rise above that. We have to concentrate on our own job and not be sidetracked by anything else.”

The Ospreys team to play Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Friday 15th April 2011, kick off at 7.05pm, will be as follows: 15 Lee Byrne 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Andrew Bishop 12 James Hook 11 Nikki Walker 10 Dan Biggar 9 Rhys Webb 1 Paul James 2 Huw Bennett 3 Adam Jones 4 Ryan Jones 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt) 6 Tom Smith 7 Marty Holah 8 Jerry Collins Replacements 16 Richard Hibbard 17 Ryan Bevington 18 Cai Griffiths 19 Ian Gough 20 Justin Tipuric 21 Tom Isaacs 22 Sonny Parker 23 Richard Fussell Cai Griffiths will make his 100th Ospreys appearance if he comes off the bench

The following players were not considered because of injury:

Jonathan Spratt – ACL
Gareth Owen –Knee
Morgan Allen – Ankle
Tom Prydie – ACL
Jamie Nutbrown – Shoulder
Craig Cross – Hamstring
Ben John – Wrist
Shane Williams – Knee
Craig Mitchell – Shoulder
Ben Thomas – Knee
Richard Kelly – Lower leg
Jonathan Thomas – Hamstring