Ospreys: Coach Steve Tandy wants to defy Euro expectations

Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar
Ospreys captain Alun Wyn Jones and fly-half Dan Biggar.
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

Ospreys want to defy expectations by reaching the quarter finals of the European Champions' Cup, says coach Steve Tandy.

They face Pool 2 leaders Clermont Auvergne on Friday, when a win will take them to the brink of qualifying.

"I think we were fourth favourites going into it - and probably after the last couple of years you could understand that," said Tandy.

"We're striving to achieve something no one else thought we could do."

Ospreys have not made the last eight of European rugby's premier club tournament since the 2009-10 season when they were beaten 29-28 by Biarritz.

Pool Two table
Remaining fixtures: Ospreys v Clermont, Bordeaux-Begles v Exeter; Clermont v Bordeaux-Begles, Exeter v Ospreys.

They are second in the pool, two points behind Clermont who took over at the top following their 28-10 win over Bordeaux-Begles in their re-scheduled match on Friday, 8 January.

A win against the French side would put Ospreys within touching distance of qualifying with a visit to Exeter to come in the final round of pool matches on Sunday, 24 January.

Huge achievement

Tandy is certain that qualifying would be a major landmark for the Ospreys after years of under-achieving in the tournament.

"It would be huge," added Tandy.

"Over the past four five seasons we've been nowhere near it. This is where we want to be.

"It would be a huge shot in the arm for Welsh Rugby to get to the quarter finals and for us."

Josh Matavesi
Fiji international Josh Matavesi played against Wales in the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Injury concerns

Ospreys are considering delaying naming their team until Thursday because of a number of injury concerns.

Prop Dimitri Ahip will definitely miss the game and Wales back-row forward Dan Lydiate is unlikely to be fit after injuring his shoulder in the 12-7 win over Dragons on New Year's Day.

However, Tandy is hopeful centre Josh Matavesi will have recovered from the calf injury which kept him out of the Pro12 defeat by Leinster on Friday.

"He's started training, he's up and running so we're hopeful he'll be available and we're just waiting on the others.

"We'll delay naming our team until Wednesday, if not Thursday to give people time."

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