As the Ospreys prepare for Saturday's crunch game with Gloucester (KO 5.30pm) Shane Williams and Filo Tiatia took time out from training on Tuesday to get a first look at the Heineken Cup, which was at the Liberty Stadium on a promotional visit.
The players are hoping that after getting a fleeting glimpse of the silverware, they'll get their hands on it again following the final of this year's competition at the Millennium Stadium at the end of May, at which point the Liberty Stadium trophy cabinet will become its new home for twelve months.
Filo Tiatia said:
"It's a massive game on Saturday, probably the biggest in the Ospreys history and everyone in the squad is right up for it. We can't wait until 5.30 on Saturday evening, everything is set up for it to be a great match, with what looks like a huge crowd present so it's bound to be a special occasion."
"Seeing the Heineken Cup up close like this is a real incentive for the boys, you look at it and realise that this is what all our efforts are about, what we are all working towards achieving. We want to get our hands on the trophy again at the Millennium Stadium in May, but everybody in the camp realises that in order to achieve that we will have to turn in some fantastic performances over the coming months, starting with Gloucester at the weekend. Our future in the tournament is on our own hands, win our two remaining games and we will be in the knockout stages for the first time. Once we are there, anything can happen, so we'll all be hoping that we can produce a run of results that will see the Heineken Cup having a new home at the Liberty Stadium."
Shane Williams added:
"When you see the trophy on the Liberty Stadium turf, and get your hands on it, it really does give you a massive buzz. The Heineken Cup is the holy grail of northern hemisphere rugby, every professional rugby player wants to win it and every supporter wants to see his team lifting the trophy, so seeing it today and being able to pick it up does give you a feeling of excitement."
"Saturday night's match is arguably the biggest in our history, with so much at stake and possibly a full-house so it doesn't get any bigger or better than this. I'm sure there'll be a fantastic atmosphere on the night and I think I'm speaking for everyone at the when I say we are really looking forward to it. I'm sure that our supporters will be sharing our excitement ahead of what looks likely to be a huge occasion, one that we are all hoping will be the match where the Ospreys come of age in terms of European rugby."
Approaching 15,000 tickets have already been sold for the game by close of business on Tuesday and supporters are being advised to ensure they purchase their tickets ahead of match-day to avoid disappointment. The game been graded as a Level 1 fixture under the new match-day pricing structure, with adult tickets available from £16. Tickets for both games are now available to buy, either in person at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, via the Ticket Hotline on 08700 400 004, or online at http://www.ospreysrugby.com/. Tickets purchased on a match-day are subject to a £2 surcharge.