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."
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.
Winger Alex Cuthbert is hoping get plenty of ball on the front foot against Australia tomorrow at Twickenham as Wales seek to halt the Wallabies' 10-match winnning streak which stretches back almost seven years.
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.
We look back on the victory over Fiji that makes it three from three for Wales in this World Cup, in a special extra Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Wales coach Warren Gatland, captain Sam Warburton, plus Gethin Jenkins, Tomas Francis, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Biggar, Matthew Morgan and Tyler Morgan, as well as defence coach Shaun Edwards and getting the Fijian perspective from coach John McKee.
We look forward to the Ospreys v Blues derby clash in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. Ospreys No 8 Dan Baker talks about the pain of missing out on the World Cup, as does Dragons wing Tom Prydie. Blues director of rugby Danny Wilson looks forward to his first Welsh derby in charge, we also hear from Dragons lock Matthew Screech and Wales Sevens team manager Steff Thomas.