Tandy insists the future is bright for the Ospreys
Steve Tandy insists the Ospreys' future is bright despite their failure to defend their RaboDirect PRO12 crown.
The reigning champions failed to reach the play-offs after crashing to defeat against Leinster on Friday night.
But head coach Tandy remains upbeat and reckons the Swansea-based region will benefit from the campaign.
"We have a young group who have shown throughout the season that we have a bright future," said Tandy.
"There was a huge turnover of players at the end of last season, but we've settled over the past 12 months and a number of players have really kicked on, among them Scott Baldwin, Ryan Bevington, Joe Rees, Lloyd Peers, James King, Sam Lewis, Ben John and Tom Habberfield.
"All those boys have experienced Heineken Cup rugby and not looked out of place.
"Throw in a strong core of Lions and Wales boys and that's a good mix. So we're in an exciting place, and the future looks bright.
"We are disappointed not to successfully defend our title, but we aren't going to dwell on that disappointment.
"That said, I told the group in the changing room at Leinster to remember the feeling.
"We were in the same place 12 months earlier and felt the other side of rugby, but Friday evening was painful for the boys and I want them to use it as a motivator for next season."
In truth the Ospreys title defence was derailed far earlier in the season. They lost their first three matches and did incredibly well to remain in the running.
"There's a big summer for a lot of the boys internationally, but we need to come back refreshed and we need to make a positive statement in the opening weeks of next season," said Tandy.
"Ultimately, it wasn't Friday night that cost us. We're disappointed with the result and some of the tries, but there was a big effort from the boys in Dublin and we played some good rugby.
"It was the first three weeks of the season that did for us, losing three on the bounce, two at home to teams that finished above us.
"We have to make sure we don't do that next season as it left us with a mountain to climb."
Porthcawl recently received a WRU facilities grant and funding from Natwest RugbyForce in order to give their changing rooms a facelift. This came after receiving £10,000 in a WRU facilities grant last year to tarmac their car park. The improvements have already helped to make the club more accessible, not only for their own members and players but for the whole community.
The Welsh Rugby Union has launched a new, accredited Safeguarding and Protecting Children course - funded by the WRU and delivered in partnership with Sport Wales and the NSPCC - fo rugby club volunteers around Wales.
The SWALEC semi-final draws threw up some mouth-watering clashes in the Cup, Plate and Bowl as the 12 teams aim for the Millennium Stadium Finals Day. All the semi-finals are to be played on the weekend of April 12.
Welsh whistler Rhys Thomas continues to scale the heights of the game as he prepares to be an official in this weekend's Hong Kong Sevens tournament, undoubtedly the showpiece event on the World Series calendar.
Wales International Ian Evans and Wales and Lions legend Scott Quinnell swapped rugby balls for paint pots at Tonna during the RBS 6 Nations. They surprised club players with a special clubhouse makeover to launch NatWest RugbyForce 2014 - a programme developed in partnership with the WRU to make rugby clubs stronger businesses by improving and renovating their facilities with the support of volunteers and the local community.
Fresh from claiming the Bowl honours in Tokyo last Sunday, the Wales Sevens squad have settled into their routine as they prepare for this weekend's Hong Kong tournament where Iolo Evans is aiming high, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
The Welsh Rugby Union has recently teamed up with Prostate Cymru to help the charity launch its latest campaign to raise awareness of the disease. Members of the Wales squad helped produce a short video and promotional material for the campaign titled 'The Best Defence - is to know the FACTS'.
The Scarlets may be just one win away from clinching the vital sixth place in the RaboDirect PRO12, but head coach Simon Easterby knows they will have to improve over the next two games after falling to a 17-13 defeat to Cardiff Blues at the Millennium Stadium.
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