As they prepare to kick off their defence of the EDF Energy Cup at the weekend, Ospreys skipper Ryan Jones says his side have no intention of giving up their crown.
The region have begun the season in style, rounding off the opening month of the new Magners League campaign with a comprehensive 43-0 victory over Ulster to leave them in top spot with four wins from five fixtures.
Now, they switch their attention to a month of cup rugby, with Harlequins first up on Sunday afternoon (KO 3.05pm).
The Ospreys swept aside all comers in last season's EDF competition, recording thumping victories over Mike Ruddock's Worcester at Sixways and London Irish at the Liberty Stadium, before a Gavin Henson inspired win at Harlequins rounded off the group stage.
A semi-final demolition of Saracens at the Millennium Stadium secured a place in the final for the second year running, and a chance to gain revenge against Leicester Tigers, their conquerors a year earlier.
More than 10,000 fans travelled to Twickenham for the final, where tries from Andrew Bishop and Alun-wyn Jones helped the Ospreys to a 23-6 win, and Ryan Jones says that the players are targeting a return to HQ for a third time.
"At the start of any competition the target has to be to win it, particularly when you are defending your title, and we have no intention of just handing over the EDF Energy Cup to another team," he said.
"We've enjoyed a great run in this tournament, losing just once in our last eleven fixtures, and of course, we've had two memorable days out at Twickenham which I know that the fans really enjoyed. Going into the games this season, we have to be looking at repeating what we achieved last year, and we will certainly be giving everything to make sure that the cup stays in the Liberty Stadium.
"To achieve that it's important that we hit the ground running. In this competition, if you lose your first game then it can be very difficult to progress so we realise that we have to get off to a flying start. Harlequins have a strong squad with plenty of experience and familiar names and they've started off the season well so they will be confident coming here, but we don't intend giving up our unbeaten home record.
"We've talked about making the Liberty Stadium a fortress, we want teams to fear coming here to play us, and if we are going to manage that then we need to be beating teams like Harlequins.
"October will be a massive month for us, we've got four cup games in two competitions, three of them at home, and we've got a chance to really show what we are made of. Four wins out of four would put us in a fantastic position before the autumn international break, and with a large and noisy crowd at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, we'll be looking to secure the first win.
"I'm sure that the fans that enjoyed such a great day at Twickenham will be out in force again, and will be creating a tremendous atmosphere. They made a great noise in the second half of the Ulster match last weekend, so the request from the dressing room ahead of Sunday is more of the same please, it really does make a difference and it certainly lifts the players when the going gets tough."
Tickets for the match are now on sale at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, via the ticket hotline on 08700 400 004 or online at www.ospreysrugby.com.
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