Ospreys boss Scott Johnson hails Cardiff Blues 'Galacticos'

RaboDirect Pro12 - Ospreys v Cardiff Blues

Venue:
The Liberty Stadium
Date:
Sunday, 1 January
Kick-off:
1830 GMT
Coverage:
Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online. Score updates on BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live. Live on S4C
Sam Warburton, Bradley Davies, Jamie Roberts, Gethin Jenkins, Lloyd Williams and Leigh Halfpenny
Cardiff Blues boast a host of current Welsh international players

Scott Johnson hopes his "little minnow" Ospreys can "do something" against the Cardiff Blues "Galacticos" in the Pro12 Welsh derby on New Year's Day.

Johnson's side was called Welsh rugby's Galacticos when Mike Phillips, James Hook, Lee Byrne and Gavin Henson were alongside Shane Williams at Ospreys.

But following the , the Ospreys boss thinks the Blues are the new "superstars".

"The Galacticos will be formidable with their international stars," he said.

The 2009 Heineken Cup semi-finalists boast seven current Welsh internationals including captain Sam Warburton, new signing Henson and British and Irish Lions pair Jamie Roberts and Gethin Jenkins.

Leigh Halfpenny and Bradley Davies are also Wales regulars, while Lloyd Williams and Alex Cuthbert are emerging Test talents that line-up alongside experienced former internationals Martyn Williams, Xavier Rush and Casey Laulala.

Ospreys, currently second in the Pro12 league, underwent a culture shift to get rid of their 'Galacticos' tag in the summer as Phillips, Hook and Byrne followed Jerry Collins, Marty Holah and Henson out of Liberty Stadium.

Director of coaching Johnson promoted Welsh-qualified players such as flanker Justin Tipuric, centre Ashley Beck and scrum-half Rhys Webb to play alongside top try-scorer Williams and Wales team-mates Ryan Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Jones and Ireland star Tommy Bowe on their World Cup return in Ospreys's first team.

Ospreys had seven players in the Welsh squad at the Rugby World Cup, while the Blues had just six but as Johnson points out: "When the internationals were at the World Cup, we didn't play any foreigners."

So the three-times Celtic League champions believe the Blues should be dubbed the 'Galacticos' of Welsh rugby.

"It will be interesting for us the little minnows to play against the superstars," Johnson told BBC Sport.

"We'll quite enjoy the landing of the Galacticos at the Liberty Stadium and we'll see if the minnows can do something.

"With all their superstars they can provide any threat right across the park.

"They are very strong whether they bring in their A-class players or their AA-class players, it'll be interesting to see which team comes down.

"If they bring their AAA-class players they will be a pretty good team. They should come down pretty loaded but we'll be ready, willing and able."

Johnson is looking forward to former Ospreys star Henson's return to Liberty Stadium with the Blues after his seven-year stay ended in October 2010.

"It will be good to see Gavin back as he is a wonderful rugby player at his best," Johnson said.

"He is a talented kid and will be a formidable opponent."

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