Rhys Webb: Ospreys scrum-half calls for 'statement' in Europe

By Nick WebbBBC Wales Sport
Rhys Webb
Rhys Webb missed the 2015 Rugby World Cup through injury

Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb says the Ospreys will target winning the European Challenge Cup after missing out on the top flight of Europe.

Ospreys missed out on the Champions Cup for first time in their history after losing 46-26 at home to Ulster.

"We're bitterly disappointed finishing eighth in the league, that's not what the Ospreys stand for," said Webb.

"We're used to winning titles and competing high in European competitions."

The Ospreys were overtaken by Cardiff Blues on the final day of the Pro12 season.

The Swansea-based region saw their slim hopes of making the top six of the league vanish as they lost 46-26 at home to Ulster.

They have competed at the top tier of Europe for all 13 seasons since they were formed, reaching the quarter-finals three times between 2008 and 2010, and have won the Pro12 or its equivalent on four occasions.

Highlights: Ospreys 26-46 Ulster

"We're going to put a statement out there, we want to get out of our group and go on and try to win that competition (the Challenge Cup) next season, we're renowned for winning trophies in this club," said acting captain Webb.

"There are some tough teams there, but we've unearthed some good young talent and I think those boys will be ready to compete in that competition."

Four Irish provinces, together with the Scarlets and Glasgow made up the top six of the Pro12.

Backs coach Gruff Rees says the Ospreys will have to use the season out of the Champions Cup to their advantage - but hopes it will only be one season.

"It is a massive hit to take but we've got to try to use this year in how we manage the whole squad.

"Perhaps it can help us in trusting players to come through in certain competitions and not rely on the big-hitters.

"We're under no illusion we've got to improve as a whole."

Cardiff Blues won the Challenge Cup in 2010 while Newport Gwent Dragons have reached the semi-finals on three occasions.

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