Ospreys captain Ryan Jones says the pool stages of the Heineken Cup have reached 'crunch time' for the Liberty Stadium outfit.
Jones takes his side to the Stade Marcel Michelin for a crucial Round 5 encounter with Clermont Auvergne as the Ospreys look to enhance their chances of a place in the last eight.
The Ospreys currently head Pool 3 by four points from both Clermont and Leicester Tigers but have to face those same sides on the final two weekends of pool action.
And Jones knows that if his team want to become the first Welsh side to be crowned European Champions, then occasions like Saturday's trip to central France and the following week's home tie with the Tigers are absolutely crucial.
"We are at crunch-time now and you can't fail to be excited about it," said Jones.
"We've worked hard to put ourselves in a good position after four rounds, but this is where the hard work really starts.
"If we don't hit the right performance levels in the final two fixtures this month then the results we secured in October and December won't count for anything."
Despite his cautious approach to the last two group games of the season, Jones is confident that the 2008 and 2009 quarter-finalists have what it takes to reach the last eight for a third successive year.
Scott Johnson's side have recovered from a slow start to the season and are flying high in both their domestic league and on the European scene.
And Jones is determined to ensure that fine form continues as the region face two of their most important games in their short history.
"We realise that we face a tough challenge, but we have been working hard to build towards January as we always knew that this was the decisive month in terms of progression to the next stage," added Jones.
"We've improved throughout the season week on week, but we are under no illusions about where we are right now - we realise that we still have some way to go if we are going to finish off the job
"The focus is very much on continuing that improvement and raising all areas of our game to another level.
"We go out to Clermont Auvergne knowing that we have to be professional out there and do our job properly to ensure that we bring something back with us.
"If we can do that, it will then set up the Leicester game to be something special. There'll be a big crowd, just as there was up in Welford Road, and with it, there should be a great atmosphere.
"It's fantastic to be involved in big games like these for the region and everyone in the squad is looking forward to them."
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.