Alun Wyn Jones eyes winning formula
Alun Wyn Jones, the Ospreys captain, admits his side need to find the answer to the "million dollar question" of why they have failed to make an impact on the Heineken Cup.
Traditionally, the Welsh region have been viewed as the principality's strongest hope of recording a first Heineken Cup success, but they have yet to advance beyond the quarter-final stage.
Those last-eight exits came at a time when the likes of Mike Phillips, James Hook and Lee Byrne were plying their trade for the Liberty Stadium side.
The playing resources at the Ospreys, as well as regional rivals the Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and Scarlets have grown increasingly thin in recent seasons, and the introduction of a £3.5million salary cap will do little to prevent the talent moving out of Wales to cash-rich clubs in France.
However, there is plenty of exciting young talent coming through, with the likes of flanker Justin Tipuric and centre Ashley Beck helping the Ospreys defeat European champions Leinster to secure the RaboDirect Pro12 title last season.
That success was a fourth title for the Ospreys, and Jones admits they need to learn how to transfer those performances into success in Europe.
The Wales lock said: "We have won the RaboDirect Pro12 four times, twice beating Leinster in the final at the RDS, so we know we can do well against teams of calibre. We drew with Leicester a few years ago and we played Biarritz in the quarter-finals in Europe and lost by a point, it has been a case of so near yet so far."
"The million dollar question is what do we need to do? We are successful in the RaboDirect Pro12 and we do the right things at the right time."
"But we have not done it in the Heineken Cup, and you have to do it all the time if you want to get yourself out of the group stage."
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