We will have to be at our best, warns Tandy
STEVE Tandy has told the Ospreys only their best will do against Pro12 champions Leinster in Dublin tonight (6.15).
The Welsh region face a stern early-season test at the RDS against a side who are already being rated short-odds favourites to once again lift the title.
The Ospreys tuned up for their first trip to Ireland this season with a hard-fought win over Treviso at Stadio Monigo.
But the dazzle factor on the opening weekend was supplied by Leinster, who cut the Scarlets apart with a 42-19 success in Llanelli.
It was a result that made the entire league sit up and take notice, and the Ospreys will take the field knowing they need to conjure a big performance.
"We know we are going to have to be at our best if we are to build on the win in Treviso and keep the momentum going," said Tandy.
"Leinster have strength in depth, so this is always a tough fixture.
"It was good for us to get off to a positive start, but there's plenty of work to do and things to put right.
"That said, the attitude of the group has been good. We want to return to the Liberty next week to play Edinburgh after another positive performance to hopefully ensure there'll be a buzz around the ground to welcome the boys back for the first home game of the season." As predicted, Ian Evans comes into the starting line-up for the injured Ryan Jones, the big lock leading the return to full action of the region's Lions.
That is the only change from the side that won 24-19 in northern Italy. Canadians Tyler Ardron and Jeff Hassler will make their Ospreys debuts if they come off the bench.
Leinster name an unchanged back line and an all-Ireland qualified pack boosted by the return of Kevin McLauglin in the back row and Richardt Strauss at hooker.
Ospreys forwards coach Chris Gibbes said: "The game will be a line in the sand to see where we are.
"The key thing about Leinster is they can hurt you from anywhere.
"They play quite an expansive style of rugby but they also showed against the Scarlets they can match sides up front as well.
"The challenge for us is to back up what we did in Treviso."