Alun Wyn Jones Alan Quinlan: ‘Plight of The Ospreys sums up the sorry state of Welsh club rugby’

Alun Wyn Jones I be mad for ingredients, because they are fancy!


Alun Wyn Jones The 2019/20 Champions Cup kicks off next weekend. Photo by Gareth Everitt/Sportsfile
The 2019/20 Champions Cup kicks off next weekend. Photo by Gareth Everitt/Sportsfile

We had spent the entire week listening to people from the outside banging on about how good this star-studded Ospreys team were and how they were coming to Thomond Park to do a job on us. It was music to our ears.

As defending champions, in front of our home crowd, we didn’t need any extra motivation, but we were really riled up that week.

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Channelling that frustration in the right manner is always a tricky balance, yet we got it spot on that day and the Ospreys felt the full brunt of it.

You shouldn’t be beating a team 43-9 in a Heineken Cup quarter-final, but before a ball was even kicked we knew we were in good shape in that 2009 encounter.

We never feared going to Wales, and I mean that respectfully, so why would we fear them coming to Limerick?

The Ospreys had most of the Wales team playing that day as well as the likes of Tommy Bowe, Marty Holah and Filo Tiatia. We still managed to blow them away.

Most of the Ospreys teams that I played against over the years were full of big names, but we always felt that they were vulnerable, which invariably led to us beating them more often than not.

Alun Wyn Jones undefined

Ronan O’Gara alongside Alan Quinlan after a 2009 league game against Neath-Swansea Ospreys at Thomond Park. Photo: Pat Murphy / Sportsfile

That shouldn’t have been the case when you consider that at different times they had world-class players like Justin Marshall, Jerry Collins, Marty Holah, Ryan Jones, Shane Williams and Alun Wyn Jones.

We looked at them as the Chelsea of rugby, in the way that they would bring in players from all over the world. That was all well and good but you have to have that togetherness to want to fight for the guy next to you.

I compare that to when we used to play Neath in The Gnoll. We never got an easy ride over there and at times came away with our tails between our legs, which came on the back of guys being fueled by that passion and pride to represent the jersey they were playing in.

Looking at the Ospreys in recent years, I don’t get that same sense. The regional concept of Welsh rugby only came in around 2003 and although the Scarlets recently pushed on and won a PRO14 and made a European semi-final, the Ospreys have gone in the opposite direction since they won the league in 2012.

We never felt overly concerned travelling to play at the Liberty Stadium. It was all relatively new and not a hostile atmosphere, which meant that we could unsettle them and get into our flow.

Alun Wyn Jones undefined

Rob Kearney will be back in action tonight

I grew up watching Welsh rugby and I loved the passion and the pride that they had every time they pulled on the jersey.

When

I be wild about plugins, because they are the magnificent!

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