Ospreys can rip holes in any defence: Bowe

Ospreys, Ireland and Lions star Tommy Bowe says that the Ospreys fear no-one and issued a warning ahead of their Clermont Auvergne clash saying, “We can rip any of you apart.”

Bowe says that the Ospreys are genuine contenders for the Heineken Cup and that was why he committed his future to the region after he had been approached by Irish clubs.

The Irish wing has now urged his team-mates to put down a marker to the rest of Europe by stunning France’s league leaders in their own backyard this weekend.

Bowe is adamant that any side boasting a back-line of Shane Williams, Lee Byrne, James Hook, Dan Biggar and Ricky Januarie has nothing to fear against the star-studded French outfit this weekend.

“I was very happy to get my contract talks sorted and out of the way. It is not something I enjoy but I sense there is a real weight lifted off my shoulders,” said Bowe.

“I know where I am going to be in the next three years and it is about settling down in Wales and getting on with the rugby.”

“The Heineken Cup was a big reason in my decisions. We are in a great position but the next two weeks are going to be crucial for us to try and go on to big things.

“Clermont have a number of top-class backs but it is a case of us going over there and doing the job that we want to do.

“We have got good players as well and I think we have one of the best backlines in Europe.” Bowe told the Western Mail.

“We are coming up against another good backline but if we get our patterns of play and timing right we can rip any team apart.”

A victory this weekend Stade Marcel Michelin will enable them to put one foot in the knockout stages and then victory over Leicester will ensure that they qualify.

However the abysmal record of Welsh teams in France over the last decade is testament to the daunting nature of the task ahead and coach Sean Holley has admitted a losing bonus point would represent a good weekend’s work.

The Welsh regions have registered just four victories on French soil since their inception in 2003 but Bowe insists there is nothing to fear from Clermont or their passionate crowd.

“They’re a top French team playing very well but I think we should be happy with where we are at the moment.”

“To win the two Welsh derbies was massive for us and we’re on a bit of a run at the moment,” Bowe insisted.

“The away games in France are definitely the hardest. To go over to France is not going to be an easy task, but if we go over there and pull off a great win then we’re pretty much guaranteed a place in the next round.

“We’ve certainly got the team to go over there and cause an upset. We don’t just want to be looking at getting a bonus point, we want to go over there and get a win.

“But it’s going to be a hostile crowd out there. It’s well documented what a great atmosphere Clermont have and they make it very difficult for opposition teams.”

And winger Bowe believes there is still a lot more to come as the 2009-10 campaign moves towards its business end.

“It’s still very early days. I wouldn’t say we’ve quite clicked in just yet. We are building and building and that’s what we want to do,” he said.

“We’re still a way off where we want to be but we are going in the right direction.

Leicester (Tigers) could be a huge match for us but hopefully it won’t be as big a game as it might be. If we can get the right result in Clermont it will help us massively.

“I think we know what type of challenge we have in front of us over the next two weeks. It’s massive for us as a team.

“We’ve done well so far in this competition but if we don’t provide two good results in this competition over the next two weeks it will be wasted.”

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