It is time for us to deliver, says Ospreys skipper Alun Wyn Jones
THE Ospreys plan to reward their 9,200 season-ticket holders by putting on a show when Ulster visit the Liberty Stadium tomorrow evening (6.30).
And the message from skipper Alun Wyn Jones after the defeat in Italy last week is simple: "It's time to deliver."
As the dust settles after the 12-6 setback against Treviso on the opening weekend of the campaign, the Ospreys are determined to prove the reverse at the Monigo Stadium was no more than an early-term blip.
They also understand the importance of repaying the supporters for showing such faith in them this summer, with the region having doubled their season-ticket sales from last season and achieved a 50 per cent hike in revenue.
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Skipper Jones, who did so much to inspire the title success in 2011-12, said: "We are very happy and really pleased with the way our fans have shown their support by taking up so many season tickets for the new season.
"We would never be arrogant enough to think that we deserve such support, so it's really satisfying that the figure is so high ahead of the new season.
"It's time for us to deliver now.
"It's the first competitive home game of the season against Ulster, who were Heineken Cup finalists just a few months ago, so we're up against a high-calibre outfit. It's a case of going out there on Saturday and playing for the jersey and the supporters who have backed us."
Returning for their first competitive home game since winning the Pro12 title in Dublin in May, the champions will parade the league trophy around the pitch at half-time, with Ryan Jones among a group of injured players who will do the honours.
The silverware will also be on show in the supporters' village before the game.
But the real business of the evening involves coming up with a big on-pitch performance.
"We want to put on a show for the supporters," said assistant coach Gruff Rees.
"Home games at the Liberty are always good occasions for us, and it should be a great crowd on the strength of our fantastic season-ticket sales.
"We realise we have to perform better."