Jones prepared for Tigers showdown
January 21, 2009
Ryan Jones will lead the Ospreys out for their vital game against Leicester on Saturday © Getty Images
Ospreys skipper Ryan Jones has hailed Saturday's Heineken Cup showdown with Leicester at the Liberty Stadium as one of the biggest games in the club's history.
Jones' side know that they must win and deny Leicester any more than one match point in order to progress automatically, with the Guinness Premiership side currently possessing 20 points to the Ospreys 16.
Should the teams end level on 21 points, with the Ospreys claiming a bonus-point win and Leicester registering a losing bonus point, then the Ospreys will progress by registering more match points in the two ties between the sides after their losing bonus-point in round one.
"We have to win and that's the first hurdle - the rest will take care of itself and, as the game progresses, we will see where we stand," said the Wales captain. "It's our goal to qualify for the quarter-finals. Once you get out of the Pool stages, all bets are off and you start building again. That's our target and what we want to achieve next weekend.
"It's a massive game in our club's history and another hurdle for us to get over and go the extra yard in Europe. It will be a great occasion and we're looking forward to playing under that pressure with the crowd and expectation. We've got character and the game will bring out the best in our players."
Jones is set to lead Wales into their Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 8, but first he has unfinished business with the Tigers.
"Having been on the receiving end of a disappointing loss at Welford Road, we know full well that they're a Heineken Cup team who do really well year in, year out. They have perfected a style and composure which allows them to win big cup games. We have to take a lot from that then overcome it.
"We can't afford to make any mistakes. We have to cut out the errors and be clinical. We can't drop passes and make sure we take the points when they are on offer."
As Scotland decides its future, Scrum Sevens looks at a group of players who transcended rugby both for country and the British & Irish Lions
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup