Elite Performance Director Andrew Hore says the Ospreys are excited about the new-look Anglo-Welsh Cup after receiving confirmation of the region fixtures in the competition.
The Ospreys have been drawn to face Northampton Saints, Bath and Leeds Carnegie from the Guinness Premiership, along with Welsh rivals Newport Gwent Dragons in the revamped version of the competition they won in style at Twickenham in April 2008, when tries from Andrew Bishop and Alun-Wyn Jones saw the Ospreys defeat Leicester 23-6.
The new-look tournament, to be played during international breaks in November, February and March, will provide an opportunity for some of the Ospreys lesser known players to come to the fore, and Hore believes that not only the Ospreys, but Welsh rugby as a whole will be stronger for their involvement in the competition. He commented:
"We are really excited about the new format for the Anglo Welsh Cup, it promises to be an exciting competition that will both provide our supporters with the chance to enjoy continued cross border competition, and also, provide meaningful opportunities for some of our younger talent to test themselves against first class opposition in a competitive environment.
"The very nature of the new format, with the games taking place during the international windows, means that we will need to utilise young talent who possibly will be unrecognised by the wider support, but in who we have tremendous faith for the future. This is what makes the revamped Anglo-Welsh Cup so exciting for us, as it fits in with our philosophy of developing the best local talent and will definitely assist us to continue our success in developing players and coaches for the senior Wales side, as I have no doubt that the players that will be on show during these matches have the potential to step up to that level and will benefit greatly from the experiences they will gain in theis competition.
"I'm sure that the supporters will share our excitement for this competition, which in its previous format the Ospreys enjoyed considerable success in, and the new look Anglo-Welsh Cup will prove to be popular with players and supporters alike."