Fixtures - Top Bar

LV= Cup preview: Ospreys v Saracens


After a try-scoring debut for Saracens in the LV= Cup last weekend, Mike Ellery admits he is relishing the chance to keep testing his newfound skills on the wing against Ospreys on Friday.

The former England 7s star returned to the 15-a-side game over the summer, joining the Aviva Premiership Rugby outfit as a winger despite having previously played at No.8 for Championship side Moseley.

Despite a steep learning curve in his new position, the 25-year-old took his first opportunity for the senior side with aplomb as he touched down to help Saracens defeat Harlequins 25-20 on Sunday.

The London club face another stern test in round two as they face an Ospreys side who have won seven from seven in the Pro12 this season.

But Ellery is confident he can help Saracens secure back-to-back victories, even if he spots some familiar faces among the home supporters at the Gnoll.

“My dad is from Swansea and he supports them so growing up I went to watch a few games down there when it was actually Swansea instead of Ospreys,” he said.

“I’ve got grandparents there who I haven’t seen for a while so it’ll be good to be involved in that match but I hope my dad won’t be cheering them on against Sarries.

“The LV= Cup is a big competition and a good opportunity for people like me who are coming over into the team to try and make a name for ourselves.

“I want to use this opportunity to keep showing that I’m getting to grips with playing on the wing and it’s a test for me to see how I’m doing.

“Hopefully I’ll keep nailing down my basics so the coaches can have a bit more trust in me to put me in the first team.”

While looking to add to his try tally, Ellery will also find his defensive capabilities tested by Ospreys, who have averaged three tries per game in the Pro12 this season.

In the absence of Welsh international Rhys Webb, Ospreys scrum-half Tom Habberfield is confident he can inspire his side’s backline, but insists the forwards will need to set the platform against a much-vaunted Saracens pack.

After playing a considerable role in Ospreys’ Pro12 campaign last year, 22-year-old Habberfield has fallen further down the pecking order with the arrival of Martin Roberts from Bath Rugby.

But with the LV= Cup giving squad players a chance to impress, Habberfield admits Friday’s clash with Saracens has arrived at a perfect time.

“The LV= Cup means big opportunities for some of the younger boys in the squad and we have a lot of talent here,” he said.

“If the forwards can match them at the set-piece, I’m confident the backs can finish them off.

“We’ve got a tough group with a young side, so each game is almost like a cup final for a lot of the boys with a chance to impress.

“With Rhys Webb playing so well I have a lot to live up to, but I’m up for the challenge. It’s been disappointing not playing so far this year, but I’m excited about the weekend.

“I know it’s my opportunity and it’s about proving a point, to put a few thoughts in the coaches mind over the next few weeks.”

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit for tickets

Latest News

Premiership Rugby clubs in Europe live on TV

Aviva Premiership Rugby’s finest return to European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action this weekend looking to build on…


Freddie Burns ecstatic to have stepped up after Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month award

Freddie Burns’ impressive displays have seen him named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November and the Leicester…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Gloucester Rugby confirm new deal for scrum-half Callum Braley

Ahead of this evening's fixture with La Rochelle, Gloucester Rugby are pleased to confirm the next re-signing for the 2017/18…

Callum Braley

Josh Beaumont backs Sale Sharks’ new boys to shine

Marquee summer signings AJ MacGinty and Josh Charnley are primed and ready to make their presence felt in the second…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Freddie Burns named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November 2016

Leicester Tigers’ outside-half Freddie Burns has “got his strut back” and this has led to him being named Aviva Premiership…


Match officials for this weekend’s European fixtures

Northampton Saints will face Leinster in a rematch of the memorable 2011 final as the European Rugby Champions Cup returns…


Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…


Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)