Ospreys star wary of Edinburgh backlash

Cornell Du Preez just fails to score a try against Connacht last week. Aaron Jarvis, below
Cornell Du Preez just fails to score a try against Connacht last week. Aaron Jarvis, below
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Ospreys prop Aaron Jarvis is warning of an Edinburgh Rugby backlash when the teams clash at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium in the Guinness Pro 12 on Sunday.

Former Bath star Jarvis says the fact that Edinburgh unexpectedly slipped up at home to Connacht last week does his team no favours in a contest delayed 24 hours by Swansea City’s Premiership football tussle with Southampton at the same venue.

“After a great win at Munster, it’s reasonable to expect Edinburgh to want to right a few wrongs,” said Jarvis, whose own team have confounded many by setting an early, unbeaten, pace.

“We were written off a bit,” said Jarvis in alluding to the fact Richard Hibbard, Ryan Jones, Adam Jones and Ian Evans departed over the summer, and added: “But that has motivated us. We enjoyed proving people wrong with early wins [over Treviso and Dragons].”

The latest success meant extending a run of straight victories over a fellow Welsh region to an astonishing 15 and overall, Ospreys have now lost just one of their last six Pro 12 matches.

By contrast, Edinburgh’s recent record stands at just one win from seven and they haven’t won successive away matches since in over six years.

“I suppose we just don’t like losing to the other regions,” said Jarvis, who feels talk of inexperience in the ranks is overstated.

Half backs Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are astute and centre Andrew Bishop is a mature head; wingers Eli Walker and Jeff Hassler had half of Ospreys six tries when they crushed Edinburgh at the same venue last season by 44-10.

It is unfortunate for the Capital outfit that Lions back row Justin Tipuric is about to return from injury, though a question mark remains against lock Alun Wyn Jones, who made an unexpected return from a post-Wales tour break last weekend.

Jones, who led the Lions in their series clincher against Australia, stepped in at the 11th hour when injury struck a colleague.