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Under-fire Jones defends Ospreys

EDF ENERGY CUP FINAL
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 12 April Kick-off: 1430 BST
Coverage: Live coverage on BBC ONE and the BBC Sport website plus radio commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and Radio Leicester

Ospreys coach Lyn Jones
Jones has led the Ospreys since their inception in 2003

Lyn Jones has defended his star-studded Ospreys after their shock Euro exit.

Wales's heroic Grand Slam-winning squad was brimming with Ospreys but under Jones's guidance they suffered Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat at Saracens.

Jones's record has been criticised but ahead of Saturday's EDF Energy Cup final against Leicester, the under-fire coach insists he "enjoys the pressure".

"We're on the road and I feel that we just need to stick at it," the Ospreys coach told BBC Sport Wales.

606: DEBATE

The Ospreys have also failed to mount a challenge for this season's Magners League title and there is much speculation about Jones's future in The Liberty Stadium hot seat.

"Questions on my future can get a bit boring," said Jones.

"But they come with the territory and I enjoy the pressure.

"I don't feel extra pressure because of Wales winning the Grand Slam, I'm as proud as anyone at the great achievement by Wales and the part that the Ospreys played in it.

"The Welsh coaching team of Warren Gatland and Shaun Edwards came in and there was a reason why they picked so many players from our region.

Wales' use of Ospreys players was a pat on the back for everyone here and an acknowledgement of what we are trying to achieve

Lyn Jones

"It was a pat on the back for everyone here and an acknowledgement of what we are trying to achieve. If we show a bit of patience we'll get our just desserts.

"Part of our brief is to develop players for Wales and I'm proud of what we have achieved in that respect.

"We've also made the quarter-finals in Europe and the EDF Energy Cup final. Now we need to secure a trophy on Saturday to reward the fans, who have been outstanding."

The Ospreys' big-spending management brought in New Zealander Andrew Hore in the middle of the season as Elite Performance Director.

He has begun a wide-ranging review of the entire region that is sure to include Jones's position, but Hore has insisted that current staff should not feel under threat and that he intends to build on positions that are already in place.

Ospreys Elite Performance Director Andrew Hore
Hore will review the Ospreys' performance at all levels

For the moment, Jones insists he is fully focused on Saturday's match at Twickenham.

"There's no lack of motivation for this one," said Jones, who has been Ospreys boss since their inception in 2003.

"It is hard to maintain standards week-in, week-out, but we recognise that we slipped below par against Saracens last week.

"The players are eager to get back into things and put it right and are looking to move on in a positive vein.

"We've had many a difficult game against Leicester, and we still see them as one of the top four sides in Europe, although they went out of the Heineken Cup at the group stages this year."


see also
Leicester v Ospreys (Sat)
09 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Varndell tries to impress again
09 Apr 08 |  English
Saracens 19-10 Ospreys
06 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
01 May 06 |  Wales
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Magners Celtic League
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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