Richard Hibbard and Ospreys ready to make mark on Heineken Cup
THE Ospreys will be looking to draw a line under years of frustration when they start their European campaign tomorrow, with hooker Richard Hibbard declaring: "We want to rock this Heineken Cup."
The Welsh region face three-time champions Leinster at the Liberty (6pm) in a match they dare not lose if they are to escape a pool that also includes Castres and Northampton Saints.
Steve Tandy's side had their preparations jolted with a home defeat in the Pro12 at the hands of Ulster last weekend, but the players are acutely aware of the region's perennial struggles in Europe and are determined this year should be different.
Hibbard, arguably the most explosive No. 2 in northern hemisphere rugby, said: "I'm happy where we're going and positive we can take our performance up a notch or two against Leinster because we want to rock in this Heineken Cup.
"It's eluded us for years and we really want to make a mark on it this time.
"With all the politics that's going on off the field it could be our last crack at it in its present form, so we have to make the most of it.
"We have a good team and I'm confident we'll be firing on all cylinders in the Heineken, which is what we want. People talk about our forwards, but it isn't just about our pack: we have exciting backs, too."
Nonetheless, to stand any hope of downing one of the favourites for the competition the Ospreys need their key players up front to stand tall in the Pool 1 clash in Swansea.
In particular, they require their Lions' contingent, led by the inspirational Alun Wyn Jones, to bring their very best form to the table and in the