Jones ready for Heineken Cup challenge

Wales star Ryan Jones accepts that this season's Heineken Cup draw could have been kinder to the Ospreys.

But despite being grouped with two heavyweights of the European game in Toulouse and Leicester, Jones also has no doubt the Ospreys hold realistic quarter-final ambitions.

The Welsh side will help launch this season's tournament when they host Italians Treviso on Friday night, and Jones said: "We are really looking forward to this tournament and looking to lay a marker down. It is something I believe we are capable of."

He continued: "From the players' point of view, the expectation is still sky-high. We are highly competitive, and you always look forward to pitting yourself against the best teams in Europe."

Toulouse and Leicester have won six European titles between them, which underlines the degree of difficulty facing Jones and company to progress from arguably this season's toughest pool.

"We have really got our work cut out, but I believe we are capable of doing it," he said.

"It is about getting out there and getting it done. You will certainly know after the second round of games who is firing and who is not.

"You only realise where you are as a team when the final whistle goes. It's going to come down to key fixtures.

"We talked years ago about winning your home games, and then maybe getting a win away from home, and that would be sufficient to qualify for the quarter-finals.

"But it is not like that now. You have got to win them all now really, which when you are away to Toulouse and Leicester becomes a very, very tough challenge."