Davies urges Ospreys to re­claim their place at top of Celtic league

The Rugby Paper - - News - By ST­EF­FAN THOMAS

BRADLEY Davies has chal­lenged Ospreys to re­take their place as Welsh rugby’s stan­dard bear­ers af­ter a poor cam­paign.

The Swansea-based re­gion have not won any sil­ver­ware since 2012 and are cur­rently on the look­out for a new head coach fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Steve Tandy in Jan­uary.

“When I played for Cardiff Blues the Ospreys were al­ways streets ahead of us and ev­ery other re­gion for that mat­ter,” Davies told TRP. “They played at the top end of Europe and had a great squad of play­ers while they also won the league on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions.

“The lead-up to an Ospreys game was like a Test week and we need to get back to those stan­dards.

“I un­der­stand the fans’ frus­tra­tion be­cause they ex­pect us to win and rightly so. We haven’t per­formed for the last two sea­sons, but we can get that back. If we can fin­ish the sea­son on a high I think we can get back to where we be­long next sea­son.”

Ospreys are work­ing un­der the guid­ance of in­terim boss Allen Clarke and look set to miss out on qual­i­fi­ca­tion for next sea­son’s Cham­pi­ons Cup.

Davies, who spent two sea­sons at Wasps, in­sists the PRO14 has im­proved dras­ti­cally since his early days with the Blues.

The 62-cap Wales lock be­lieves this has co­in­cided with Ospreys’ strug­gles.

Davies said: “When I first played in this league there were al­ways a few week­ends where you were al­most guar­an­teed a four or five pointer.

“I went to Wasps and I thought the Pre­mier­ship was streets ahead, but since I’ve come back I think the PRO14 is on a par with it. The phys­i­cal­ity in the league is mas­sive and ev­ery side has im­proved, in­clud­ing the two Ital­ian teams.

“The English boys won’t ad­mit it, but there’s not much be­tween the two leagues these days. There’s no hid­ing place and ev­ery game is a tough one.”

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