European Champions Cup: Ospreys 'have team' to beat Clermont

Eli Walker and Noa Nakaitaci
Eli Walker won this race for the touchdown when Clermont beat Ospreys 34-29 in November
European Champions Cup: Ospreys v Clermont Auvergne
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea Date: Friday, 15 January Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales and in Welsh on BBC Radio Cymru and online

Brendon Leonard believes Ospreys "have the team" to beat Clermont Auvergne as the Welsh region bid for their first European quarter-final since 2010.

But the former New Zealand scrum-half acknowledges French Top 14 finalists Clermont, European Cup runners-up in 2013 and 2015, are a "formidable" side.

Clermont are among the Champions Cup favourites and lead Pool Two, with Ospreys second, two points behind.

"We've got the team to get through to the quarter-finals," said Leonard.

Ospreys have not lost at home to a French team since Toulouse beat them in 2004. but Biarritz were the team to knock them out the last time Ospreys made it to the last eight six years ago.

Brendan Leonard
Brendon Leonard played for New Zealand as they lost to France in the 2007 World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff

The Welsh region have won 13 home games against French teams since losing to Toulouse at the Liberty - including twice beating Clermont - and are vying with Clermont and English Premiership side Exeter to qualify for the quarters from Pool B.

The Ospreys have won the Pro 12 title a joint record four times and 13-times capped All Black Leonard has backed his team to rise to the challenge.

Quiet confidence

"We are definitely confident we can win this," said Leonard.

"Clermont are such a formidable team and they've got an amazing record in the last few years so they'll be coming here to win as well.

"So it's just about getting excited and having quiet confidence about us, knowing that if we play well we'll be in with a chance of winning."

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Back on the European map?

Ospreys' Wales tight-head prop Aaron Jarvis also believes they can succeed with their final pool game to follow at Exeter on Sunday, 24 January.

"It's huge, a big occasion for everyone involved at the club so it's an exciting time to be part of that and everyone's looking forward to it," said Jarvis.

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