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Page last updated at 06:42 GMT, Tuesday, 25 May 2010 07:42 UK

Filo Tiatia to stick on 99 appearances for Ospreys

Venue: Royal Dublin Showground Date: Saturday, 29 May Kick-off: 1830 BST
Coverage: Live on S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online, score updates on BBC Sport website highlights on Scrum V, Sunday, 30 May (BBC TWO Wales & online, 1730 BST)

Ospreys veteran Filo Tiatia
Filo Tiatia did not expect to make many Ospreys appearances

Veteran ex-All Black Filo Tiatia could make his 99th Ospreys appearance in the Magners League Grand Final against Leinster on Saturday.

But he insists he will not return next season to reach the 100-game mark after announcing his retirement.

"If I'm involved for the final it will be my last professional game so mixed emotions," said 38-year-old Tiatia.

"At the same time I'm sort of looking forward to it as well. I'm pretty happy with whatever number I end up with."

Tiatia says when he arrived at the Ospreys for the 2006-07 seaosn he expected to play few games, but he has become a fans' favourite for his uncompromising approach.

In the process he has often kept captain Ryan Jones and Jonathan Thomas either out of the starting line-up or out of position as he wore the number eight jersey for some memorable big games.

He said: "I turned up here as a 34-year-old, 34-and-a-half or 35 or whatever it was, and I didn't really expect to play too many games.

"I joined the team to back up Ryan Jones and Jonathan Thomas - and I didn't realise how young they were.

"And I still knew I had something in the tank and something I could actually give within this team so I just went for it."

I joined the team to back up Ryan Jones and Jonathan Thomas - and I didn't realise how young they were

Filo Tiatia

Tiatia is confident the Ospreys can finish their season on a high having seen their Heineken Cup hopes crushed by defeat to losing finalists Biarritz last month.

That 29-28 quarter-final loss in San Sebastian, Spain, was followed by a three-match trip to Ireland in which they beat Ulster, lost at Leinster and won in Munster.

The points picked up helped them reach second place in the league and they went on to defeat Glasgow 20-5 in the semi-final at Liberty Stadium.

Leinster saw off Munster in their semi-final to earn a home draw for the finale.

"Like anything in knock-out stages anything can happen," added Tiatia. "The occasion will bring out the best in the individual.

"Like anything in team sport it's got to be a cohesive performance so being involved with a lot of teams and my analogy is related to my time with the Hurricanes [in Super 14 rugby].

"A lot of times we don't have much possession, but the possession that we do get, hopefully we can score points and at the end of the day it's scoring most points and conceding the least.


"So we are really excited going up to Dublin. We pushed them really hard the last time there.

"There were a few errors in the game that let ourselves down and got them back in the game. A couple of mistakes from us and they won it."

Tiatia came off the bench against Glasgow for his 98th Ospreys appearance and although quitting after the final whistle on Saturday, he will continue with the region in as a coach helping to develop young players.

He said: "There's been a lot of changes, a lot of positive changes as well since I arrived.

"The way the Ospreys are moving forward is a positive in terms of trying to develop from within the region.

"And there are some really exciting kids coming through the system."

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see also
Leinster v Ospreys (Sat)
28 May 10 |  Welsh
Double injury blow hits Ospreys
20 May 10 |  Welsh
Kiwi trio dominate Ospreys awards
20 May 10 |  Ospreys
Ospreys 20-5 Glasgow Warriors
14 May 10 |  Welsh
Regional rugby archive
07 Jul 03 |  Welsh
RaboDirect Pro12 table
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Magners Celtic League 2009/10
14 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
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