Ospreys: Adam Jones set to make comeback
ADAM Jones is poised to deliver a huge boost to Welsh rugby by putting his shoulder to the wheel for the first time this season when the Ospreys take on Munster in tomorrow evening's Pro12 clash at the Liberty (6.30).
And Ryan Jones is poised to feature in the starting line-up as the Pro12 champions chase their first home win of the season.
The news will come as a double lift for Steve Tandy ahead of the first joust of the campaign with the twice-Heineken Cup winners.
Strongman Adam caused flutters of concern in the Wales camp as well as at the Ospreys when he damaged a knee in training a fortnight ago.
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But Welsh rugby's scrummaging king passed a fitness test earlier this week and is expected to be named on the bench for the visit of the crack Irish province.
Hardly less significant is the return to the front line of the other Jones boy, Ryan, arguably player of the season in Wales last term.
He has been pencilled in to figure in the run-on side after starting his comeback with a try-scoring cameo against the Scarlets.
The upbeat news for Tandy wasn't just confined to the forwards, with Ashley Beck over his pelvic problem and likely to play a part against Munster.
The Ospreys were happy with their forward display in Llanelli, but the return to fitness of two Test Lions will only strengthen them. Their forwards look equipped to rumble and Tandy will hope his team can start to motor up the table after their stuttering start.
Munster have picked a three-quarter line which looks keen to run, made up of Doug Howlett, Keith Earls, Casey Laulala and Simon Zebo, all class and pace, and Ospreys scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i warns that the two Kiwis, in particular, will need to be closely watched.
"Doug Howlett and Casey Laulala are both game-breakers," said former Canterbury Crusader Fotuali'i.
"Doug has experience, is captain and will want to do his best.
"He is still playing well and is always someone to watch, while Casey is a magnificent player who's good on his feet. He controls play and reads the game, so we will have to be mindful of him defensively.
"That said, we have some great talent in our backs, too. If we focus on ourselves and what we can do, we should be all right."
Meanwhile, Rob Howley will take the Wales squad back to Spala in Poland to the same athletes' village whose cryotherapy centre was utilised to great effect by Wales before the 2011 World Cup at the end of next month. He names his squad a week earlier on October 22.