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Ospreys’ Jonathan Humphreys hits out at unrealistic expectations

Published: January 21, 2013 | 10:08 am
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Ospreys forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys has hit out at “unrealistic” expectations of Welsh success in the Heineken Cup.

The former Wales captain claimed the Welsh regions do not have the money to compete with the rest of Europe.
The Ospreys lost 17-15 to Treviso in their final pool match, with no Welsh side qualifying for the quarter finals.
“Our [Welsh] expectations are totally unrealistic. We are the least funded and yet we expect the most,” he said.
“Someone justify to me why we should be disappointed.

“We have way less money than everybody else in the competition, that’s including the Italians… and we are upset about it?”
The Ospreys, Blues and Scarlets all failed to reach the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup, managing just three wins and a draw out of 18 pool matches.
The Dragons, who failed to qualify for the Heineken Cup, were knocked out in pool stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Wales’ four regions each receive £3.5m annually from playing in televised competitions, combined with a share of £6m from the Welsh Rugby Union.
The regions have introduced a salary cap of £3.5m a year, and are still in negotiations with the WRU over the future funding of the professional game in Wales.
That follows a report by accountancy firm Price Waterhouse Coopers which questioned the financial viability of regional rugby.
The regions have been hit by the departure of a series of high-profile players for French and English clubs.
These include former Ospreys stars Mike Phillips, James Hook, Lee Byrne, Paul James and Craig Mitchell who are all Welsh internationals.
Humphreys claims the level of funding doesn’t allow the Welsh regions to compete with the rest of the teams in European tournaments.
“You can’t come and win European competitions when you’ve got less money than everybody else in it,” he said.
“Everyone entitled to expect to get people to quarter finals, and I think if every team had their best players available to them at all times then you’d have a crack.
“But European competition is not about that. European competition is about having strength in depth.
“It’s a tough old competition, there’s fine margins involved in all of this.
“But if people want to justifiably say to the Welsh regions you’re disappointing, well put us on a level playing field, and then say we’re disappointing.”

BBC

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