Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke acknowledges the Welsh region will be facing what he called “serious contenders” for the Heineken Champions Cup next season in Pool 4 – but he warned that his side would be “determined” to pull off some upsets.

Ospreys have been drawn with defending champions and three-time winners Saracens, double winners Munster Rugby and 2018 runners-up Racing 92.  

“I think everybody knows we’re up against some serious contenders there for the championship next year,” he told Ospreys TV. 

“Obviously, with Saracens, they’ve shown their pedigree over the last number of years. With Munster and Racing, it’s going to be a real challenge. 

“They’ve [all] got tremendous strength in depth, a tremendous following and they’ve got the pedigree of performing at the top within their leagues and in Europe.”

However, the 51-year-old Irishman is not put off by the pool line-up for Ospreys’ return to the Heineken Champions Cup after a season in the Challenge Cup.

“We’ve shown what we can do, particularly at home when we get our best combinations on the field, and I’m sure having us as the fourth-choice team in the pool, nobody was after that either,” he added.

“We want to be in it and we want to challenge with the best. And we’ve got a group of players who love and excel in that. 

“There is time now to take a breath on it – there’s plenty to focus on before then – but when that time comes around, we’ll be determined to put in 80-minute performances to get Ws.”