Storylines: Ospreys

Storylines: Ospreys

Edinburgh Rugby travel to South Wales to face Ospreys at Stadium in Round 11 of the United Rugby Championship (28 January, kick-off 5.15pm) - live on Premier Sports 1.

These are the storylines to look out for as the capital club return to URC action.

South Wales drought

Swansea hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Edinburgh, last winning away against a star-studded Ospreys in 2009; thanks to a last gasp try from Jim Hamilton to win a thriller in South Wales. Ospreys hit the front through legendary wing pair Shane Williams and Tommy Bowe.

Edinburgh hit the front in a see-sawing affair, thanks to a brace from Ben Cairns, and a stunning score by Simon Webster – gathering a cross-field kick to dive over the whitewash. Lee Byrne scored on the stroke of half time to draw a breathless half of rugby to a close. Ospreys hit the front o the hour mark; Huw Bennett crossing over, and looked to have won the game for the hosts, before Big Jim burrowed over the line in the 80th minute.

With the clock in the red, Christ Paterson held his nerve, nudging the conversion over to secure a suspenseful Edinburgh victory.

Vice-Captain Currie

Outside centre Matt Currie has impressed since breaking into the Edinburgh first team, earning himself a first pro contract in the new year. The Dumfries man has been praised for his leadership qualities on and off the field and has been handed the vice-captaincy for the trip to Ospreys; his first leadership role with the club.

The 20-year-old has featured three times for the capital club so far this season, starting in two bonus-point URC wins against Benetton and the Dragons.

Form vs the regions

The capital side have faced Welsh opposition on three occasions this season, and each time they have come away with a bonus-point win and will be hoping for a repeat against Ospreys to complete a clean sweep of the Welsh regions.

Edinburgh kicked off their campaign in style, beating Scarlets in a 26-22 thriller in the first competitive match at DAM Health Stadium. An away trip to Dragons followed in November, which saw a similar result, with Edinburgh earning a bonus point win at Rodney Parade, thanks in part to stunning displays by the club’s Argentine wingers Emiliano Boffelli and Ramiro Moyano.

At the turn of the year Edinburgh welcomed Cardiff Rugby to the DAM, with the home side running away with a 34-10 win. Ospreys top the league in multiple defensive stats, including tackles made and turnovers won - another bonus-point win on the road won't come easy.

Scotland stars on duty

Edinburgh’s impressive form in the URC has seen 13 players called up to the Scotland squad for the upcoming Guinness Six Nations tournament. Edinburgh welcome the release of five players from the squad, with Magnus Bradbury and Darcy Graham starting on Saturday. Mike Blair will also be able to call upon Jamie Hodgson, Ben Vellacott, and Mark Bennett from the bench.

Bradbury and Graham have been in exceptional form for the capital side. Graham picked up his fifth try of the season against CA Brive and is fourth in the try scoring charts in the URC. Bradbury has been imperious both sides of the ball, making 73 carries, winning 9 turnovers, and maintaining a 98% tackle success rate in the URC.

On the road

The trip to Swansea will be the first in a long series of away matches for Edinburgh, with the adjusted URC schedule announced earlier this week. After Ospreys, Edinburgh will travel to Leinster and Munster in back-to-back weeks, before welcoming Connacht to DAM Health Stadium in March.

The testing schedule won't stop there, with Edinburgh then facing three more away fixtures after Connacht. First in the rearranged first leg of the 1872 Cup at Scotstoun, before the side pack their bags for two weeks in South Africa, where they will face the Cell C Sharks and the Emirates Lions for the first time.

It is a challenging schedule, and will be a thorough examination of the progress Mike Blair's team is making.

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