Ospreys head coach Sean Holley is bracing himself for an immense struggle against in-form French outfit Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin tomorrow.
Ospreys Head Coach, Sean Holley, commented: "We face a team who are one of the leading sides in Europe who are coming into the game in a rich vein of form. They've been on a good run lately and picked up some good wins, most notably away to Toulouse last weekend which put them top in the T14 so we know the size of the challenge that we are up against on Saturday afternoon.
"We've had a good look at their strengths and weaknesses, and it's been interesting viewing to be honest. They've got a good set-piece game and they like to play attacking rugby using their big, strong backs. We know that we are going to be put under pressure by them and their passionate supporters, but we have to stand up to that.
"It's what this competition is all about, you want to be testing yourself against the best, and there's no doubt in mind that description fits our opponents on the weekend. It doesn't get any bigger, or more difficult, than the challenge we face over the next two weeks, against the form team in France, and the form team in England at the Liberty Stadium next weekend.
"We've been strengthened going into the game by the return of some important players to the squad, who have big game experience, and that is something that we will need on Saturday, along with self belief and a strong character. We've put together a good run of results ourselves over the last couple of months without actually hitting the levels where we want to be at week in week out, and where we need to be on Saturday if we are going to get anything from the game.
"We've focused on getting that right since our last game against the Blues, getting consistency into our game and becoming more clinical. We know that we have to raise our game significantly if the work done to get to this point isn't to be wasted, and that is the challenge for us all, players and coaches, right now.
"We're just pleased that the work we have done up to this point means that we can go into these two games in a good position and with a real say in how this Pool pans out and who progresses to the knockout stages. They are mouth watering games and as a group we are relishing the challenge."
Ospreys 15 Lee Byrne 14 Tommy Bowe 13 Sonny Parker 12 Andrew Bishop 11 Nikki Walker 10 Dan Biggar 9 Ricky Januarie; 1 Paul James 2 Richard Hibbard 3 Adam Jones 4 Alun-Wyn Jones 5 Jonathan Thomas 6 Jerry Collins 7 Marty Holah 8 Ryan Jones (capt)
Replacements: 16 Huw Bennett 17 Ryan Bevington 18 Cai Griffiths 19 Ian Gough 20 Filo Tiatia 21 Jamie Nutbrown
22 James Hook 23 Shane Williams
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.