The Ospreys will be looking to pass their French test at the Liberty Stadium this Saturday – but how has the region fared against Gallic opposition in previous years?
After losing to Toulouse at the Gnoll (29-11) in the inaugural season, no French team has left the region with a win in the bag from 12 matches over the last 11 seasons, with the Ospreys unbeaten against T14 sides at the Liberty Stadium.
The all-time record is:
P13 W10 D2 L1
In that time the Ospreys have seen off a host of French giants including this season’s Pool Two rivals Clermont Auvergne (twice), Stade Francais, Toulon, Toulouse and Castres.
Ahead of this weekend’s game against Bordeaux (Saturday, 5.15pm KO), take a look at previous French tests…
Ospreys 11 Toulouse 29
A fourth successive defeat for the new region left them pointless at the bottom of their group, a Gavin Henson try and two penalties the only response the Ospreys had to four first half tries from Vincent Clerc (three) and Benoit Baby.
Ospreys 20 Castres 11
Richie Rees and Elvis Seveali’i score a try apiece and Henson kicks 10 points in the final pool match to stop their opponents qualifying for the last eight after a physical battle at the Gnoll.
Ospreys 13 Stade Francais 8
The Ospreys put in a heroic performance to defeat the first French side to visit the Liberty Stadium, as a Sonny Parker try proved the catalyst for a memorable win over the 2005 runners-up on the opening weekend.
Ospreys 26 Clermont Auvergne 12
Adrian Cashmore, kicked 16 points and Richard Mustoe and Stefan Terblanche crossed for a try apiece as the Ospreys recorded a second win against French opposition of the season.
Ospreys 22 Stade Francais 22
Lionel Beauxis broke Ospreys hearts with an 85th minute penalty to level things after the region had overturned a 6-16 half-time score to lead with time up.
Nikki Walker had scored the Ospreys try, with James Hook kicking the rest of the points, and the draw was ultimately to cost the Ospreys a place in their first ever quarter-final despite only losing one game from six in the pool stage.
Ospreys 22 Bourgoin 15
A Gavin Henson try and 17 points from Hook meant that the Ospreys got their European Cup campaign off to a winning start.
A convincing win in Bourgoin in Round 6 secured the Ospreys a quarter-final spot for the first time.
Ospreys 15 Perpignan 9
A 19-year old Dan Biggar won a kicking dual with Jerome Porical, kicking five penalties to three as the Ospreys defeated the side who would go on to win the French league title later that season.
The Ospreys would again proceed to the last eight, qualifying from a tough pool alongside Leicester Tigers.
Ospreys 25 Clermont Auvergne 24
Having raced into an 18 point lead over Leicester in the opening fixture a week earlier, only to have to settle for a 32-32 draw at Welford Road, the Ospreys were involved in another thriller, once again defeating the team that would go on and win that season’s French league.
This time, tries from Tommy Bowe, Ryan Jones and Barry Davies sent the Ospreys in at the break holding a 22-3 lead, only for Clermont to come roaring back into the lead in the final quarter, a penalty from Biggar securing the win.
Both teams would go through from this group at the expense of Leicester.
Ospreys 29 Toulon 17
A disappointing campaign ended on a high as the Ospreys defeated big spending Toulon, who had already booked their place in the last eight.
Nikki Walker and Alun Wyn Jones scored a try each while Hook and Biggar shared the kicking duty to maintain a five year unbeaten home record in the competition.
Ospreys 28 Biarritz 21
A Biggar kicking masterclass helped the Ospreys to victory in their opening fixture of the campaign, the fly-half scoring 23 points, which was complemented by a Tommy Bowe try.
It was to prove a frustrating season in Europe for the region, but Biarritz would drop down to the Amlin Cup at the last eight stage, defeating Toulon in the final.
Ospreys 17 Toulouse 6
Just a week after losing to the reigning French champions and four time Heineken Cup winners in south-west France, an injury hit Ospreys squad recording an impressive win over the French giants.
20-year old Eli Walker was the hero, scoring a stunning solo try and the ever reliable Biggar kicked 12 points as the region kept their quarter-final hopes alive.
Ospreys 21 Castres 12
Once again the Ospreys found themselves up against the reigning French champs in the December double header and, once again, they bounced back from defeat in France in impressive style.
Dan Biggar was the hero again with seven penalties as the Ospreys recorded their first win of the campaign having previously also lost to Northampton and Leinster.
Ospreys 19 Racing Metro 19
A late try from Josh Matavesi, against his former team, rescued a draw for the Ospreys over the big spending Parisians after they had trailed by 10 at the break.
The draw ensured that the Ospreys unbeaten home run against French teams would stretch to almost 11 years at least, ahead of this weekend’s game against Bordeaux.
Tickets for Saturday’s crunch game, which would put the Ospreys in the Pool 2 driving seat at the halfway stage, are on sale now at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office and online at ospreysrugby.com/buytickets