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
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.