Toby Booth 001

Toby Booth's matchday introduction

We welcome Racing 92 to the Stadium, this afternoon, as we kick-start and continue our European journey in the Heineken Champions Cup.

We know we are facing one of the favourites for the tournament and Racing have made no secret about their ambition to win the Champions Cup this season.

They are without question one of the best teams in Europe and many will see us as underdogs for this game, and rightly so but we are relishing the prospect of testing ourselves against the best.

Toby Booth
"They are without question one of the best teams in Europe"

Racing are a squad full of international players from around the world and it will be a real challenge for us as a group of coaches and players.

Everybody knows about the discrepancy in budgets between sides in France and the rest of Europe, but that is the challenge and it’s still two rugby teams facing each other.

We will face Scotland and Lions fly half, Finn Russell, and some of our younger players are excited about the prospect of lining up against him.  We all know he is one of the most exciting, charismatic and enigmatic of players.

He sets the tone for Racing and everything comes through him as we saw with his personal performance and his side’s performance against Northampton Saints at the start of the tournament.


But Finn is not the only threat in Racing’s ranks, with Wallaby full-back Kurtley Beale and back rower Wenceslas Lauret, who scored a hat trick of tries against Saints, all proven performers at the highest level.

We are under no illusions of the task ahead of us but we are also excited at the prospect of benchmarking ourselves against one of European rugby’s best sides.

While we are aware of the threats posed by our opponents, this is about the Ospreys and our journey as we continue to strive to be the best versions of ourselves.


This group of players worked hard to qualify for this tournament last season, we got there on merit and these are the games we want to be involved in.

We are still a young side with a lot of experience and know-how still in the physio room, but we are learning a lot about ourselves and the defeat to Glasgow was certainly another lesson.

You all know the Ospreys have made a commitment to developing our own and of giving our younger players an opportunity to wear the jersey. It’s part of our philosophy and one we have made no secret about and one we intend to follow.



At this level, we cannot afford to miss so many first up tackles and commit so many unforced errors as we did last weekend. This group of players has proved they are resilient and are adept at learning lessons and being able to move forward quickly.

Every side has to do the basics well and respect the fundamentals of the game and we know we will be tested in that area. Europe is where those elements of the game are really put under stress but we have shown we can deliver with the victories against Munster and Ulster already this season.

The commitment, diligence and care about their own performances is something that marks them out. Nobody should doubt their attitude and determination to improve and get better.

The team thank you for your continued support.




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