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Jerry Collins back for Ospreys but there’s no Tommy Bowe

Ospreys have named 15 starters who between them boast 327 international caps, for Friday night’s Magners League opener at Ravenhill.

Nevertheless the mood in the Ulster camp will be that this particular line-up can be beaten.

Some notable forwards are missing. Four members of the Jones clan for example — Adam, Alun-Wyn, Duncan and Ryan — are absentees. They boast 64, 40, 57 and 43 Welsh appearances respectively.

Remarkably New Zealander Jerry Collins is fit — eight weeks ahead of schedule following two summer operations. He is partnered in the back row by fellow-Kiwi Marty Holah and Welsh No 8 Jonathan Thomas.

But behind the pack there is no Tommy Bowe. And Lee Byrne — like Bowe a scorer in last May’s Grand Final triumph — starts on the bench alongside Shane Williams.

Full back Gareth Owen, wing Richard Fussell, scrum-half Jamie Nutbrown and loosehead Ryan Bevington are the four uncapped starters.

OSPREYS: G Owen; N Walker, S Parker, A Bishop, R Fussell; D Biggar, J Nutbrown; R Bevington, M Davies, C Mitchell; I Gough, I Evans; J Collins (captain), M Holah, J Thomas. Replacements: H Bennett, P James, C Griffiths, J Goode, B Lewis, R Webb, L Byrne, S Williams.

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