Reaching European final 'why I joined Clermont' - Jonathan Davies

Clermont Auvergne centre Jonathan Davies takes on Saracens full-back Alex Goode during their Champions Cup semi-final
Clermont Auvergne centre Jonathan Davies takes on Saracens full-back Alex Goode during their Champions Cup semi-final

Jonathan Davies says the chance to win the European Rugby Champions Cup was one of the major reasons behind joining Clermont Auvergne from Scarlets.

The Wales and British and Irish Lions centre helped his French side edge Saracens 13-9 on Saturday to reach the final at Twickenham on 2 May.

Toulon, with Davies' Wales team-mate Leigh Halfpenny, beat Leinster 25-10 in the other semi-final on Sunday.

"Days like today are why I joined Clermont," said the 27-year-old.

"As a rugby player you want to play in front of big crowds and you want to win things, and the reason I came to Clermont was to win things.

"That was a big thing for me: Clermont were traditionally always up there competing for championships.

"So the opportunity for me to come here and play with some great players and be involved with a great club, I'm very lucky."

Davies, who has won 48 Wales caps and three for the Lions, joined Clermont at the start of this season from Scarlets on a two-year deal.

Jonathan Davies' partnership with France centre Wesley Fofana has played a big part in Clermont's success this season
Jonathan Davies' partnership with France centre Wesley Fofana has played a big part in Clermont's success this season

The Welshman has formed a potent centre partnership with France star Wesley Fofana this season, a combination that could play a big part in Clermont finally winning the elusive European title the club craves so much.

Les Jaunards were beaten 16-15 in the 2013 final by French rivals Toulon and have a string of heart-breaking semi-final and quarter-final losses in their history.

"There's a lot of rugby to be played and I look forward to being involved in it and hopefully we can get some silverware, because this club deserves some silverware after some painful, close shaves," Davies added.

"We need to make sure that we get championships for this great club."

Clermont avenged their heavy defeat by Saracens in last year's semi-finals with a battling display against the English club, roared on by massive support at St Etienne football club's Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Saracens led 6-3 at the break thanks to a drop-goal and penalty from Charlie Hodgson, but Clermont responded after half-time when Brock James' chip set up Fofana for the only try of the game.

"It's very special... a great occasion and something I won't forget. It was great to be a part of it," Davies said.

"Cardiff [at the Millennium Stadium] takes some beating, but the atmosphere was very close - 42,000 people and... hopefully they can get a plane ticket over to Twickenham.

"I was fortunate to play against Clermont a few years ago in Stade Marcel Michelin and that atmosphere there with only 17,000 was pretty special.

"We're very lucky to play in front of that crowd and it was down to us to put in a performance and make sure we got the result worthy of the great support we had.

"It would definitely be up there. Grand Slams and Six Nations championships are very special as well."

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