Heineken Champions Cup: Montpellier v Ospreys (Sat)

Heineken Champions Cup: Montpellier v Ospreys (Sat)

Wales international Owen Williams recently played for Barbarians against Northampton
Venue: GGL Stadium, Montpellier Date: Saturday, 17 December Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, the BBC Sport website and app. Match report and reaction on the BBC Sport website and app.

Fly-half Owen Williams will make his first Ospreys start in the Heineken Champions Cup visit to French champions Montpellier.

Head coach Toby Booth has made nine changes from the side that lost 23-17 to Leicester with Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones not included in the squad.

Keiran Williams, Michael Collins and Luke Morgan are named in the backline.

Gareth Thomas, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies and Ethan Roots come into the pack.

George North is injured after undergoing surgery, while Jack Walsh, Joe Hawkins, Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Tomas Francis and Jac Morgan are named as replacements. Wales lock Jones and wing Keelan Giles drop out of the squad altogether.

First start

Williams, 30, has joined Ospreys to provide injury cover for Gareth Anscombe and Stephen Myler and made his Ospreys debut as a replacement against Leicester last weekend.

Anscombe hurt his shoulder in Wales’ autumn defeat by Australia, while Myler is also sidelined for the Welsh region.

Williams, who can also play at centre, had been without a club after Worcester Warriors suffered financial collapse.

He was capped three times by Wales before a move to Japan in 2020.

Montpellier came from behind to win 32-27 at London Irish in their Champions Cup opener.

“We have to go to Montpellier and play the French champions after the English ones and get a win in their back yard, which is going to be very difficult,” said Booth.

“We will need to be collision dominant and deal with their power. Watching them play London Irish, they were very powerful as a team.

“They put a lot of pressure on people and we need to make sure we front up in that area because they are big and powerful and we will need to match that.”

Montpellier: Bouthier (capt); B Lam, Darmon, P Garbisi, Bridge; Carbonel, Reinach; Forletta, Paenga-Amosa, H Thomas, Verhaeghe, Chalureau, Doumenc, Becognee, Mercer.

Replacements: Langdon, Fichten, Tuinukuafe, Tauleigne, Coly, Tisseron, Dakuwaqa, Willemse.

Ospreys: Nagy; Cuthbert, Collins, K Williams, L Morgan; O Williams, R Webb; G Thomas, Parry, Botha, R Davies, Beard, Roots, Tipuric (capt), M Morris.

Replacements: Baldwin, N Smith, Francis, Sutton, J Morgan, Morgan-Williams, Walsh, Hawkins.

Referee: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia)

Assistant referees: Dan Jones & Wayne Falla (England)

TMO: Adam Leal (England)

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