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European Rugby returns this weekend with two of Wales’ pro rugby teams kicking off their campaigns at home as the Ospreys host Exeter in the Champions Cup and the Newport Gwent Dragons face Sale at Rodney Parade in the Challenge Cup.

The Ospreys kick off their campaign on Sunday at the Liberty Stadium at 5.30pm facing a strong Exeter Chiefs team what have won three wins from four in their Aviva Premiership games to date.

Ospreys winger Eli Walker was on fire last weekend scoring two tries in the Ospreys’ six try bonus point win over Zebre in the Guinness Pro12 and is now focused on a tough European opener.

Walker, 23, who is eager to find his form after a stop-start season with injury and international call-ups said: “I was probably trying to chase things too much since coming back. Gruff told me to take a step back and let them come to me and that was the case against Zebre, I kept my width and the chances came.

“The goal is always to perform consistently and to turn the corner. I’m looking after my body, I have matured in that regard and that is the main thing for me, to stay fit and healthy.”

Reflecting on what was a much needed win for the Ospreys at the Liberty last weekend, Walker insisted that the team needs to keep improving as they prepare to face Aviva Premiership high flyers this weekend.

He continued: “It was a good performance, that is what we have been striving for. It’s been a difficult time but we executed here.

“There was a good energy against Zebre, we have been trying to play expansive rugby and our skills have let us down with passes not clicking, but we have worked on it and it was a lot better. We want to take that into Europe, to play a bit more rugby. We are not going to throw it around aimlessly but the plan has been to bring that in and we have the talent to do that.

“Last season we caused teams a lot of problems playing that way. We probably kept the ball more last year, but it has been a theme in training as guys like Josh in midfield have the ability to offload and create space and we want to make the most of that. We need to keep the ball better, and it is within our game plan to do that, particularly in the wide areas.

“The intent has been there but we have made errors. We have fixed things up and we have reasons to be confident going forward.”

Newport Gwent Dragons Newport Gwent Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones is relishing the prospect of welcoming former club Sale Sharks to Rodney Parade on Sunday 3.15pm KO.

The former Wales flanker spent seven seasons at the Sale helm, and welcomes them to South Wales for the first time when the Dragons kick-off their Pool Two campaign on Sunday. And he knows the size of the task that awaits having been on the inside at Sale four years ago.

He said: “I watched Sale Sharks against Harlequins and they are a quality side. But we look forward to that, it’s my old team and I have a lot of friends there. I signed a few of the lads that are playing for them now so I’m looking forward to seeing them, they were all 16 or 17 when I was there!

“I know a lot about there individuals and their coaches and they are playing really well. We look forward to that tournament like we did last year, it’s a big tournament for us. We need to improve in our exits and our finishing.”

Sale came out on the wrong side of a tight contest against Harlequins, but TJ Ioane reckons they can conquer last season’s semi-finalists if they carry on producing the same level of performances.

He said: “I think we are producing a lot of good rugby at the moment, and hopefully we can continue that and build on it heading into next week’s European game against Newport Gwent Dragons. We just need to work on the things which didn’t go too well for us, and carry on with what did go well.

Head Coach Danny Wilson has promised to go into Europe all guns blazing this season as he looks to build momentum to take into the festive period. Cardiff Blues kick-off the competition on Saturday (14 Nov) in Italy as they face Rugby Calvisano at the Peroni Stadium (kick-off 3pm local time).

Wilson’s men can also look forward to European clashes with French giants Montpellier and English outfit Harlequins.

And Wilson has vowed to play strong teams to build towards the end of the 2015 and on the work of recent months.

Tournament winners in 2010, they qualified for the quarter-finals last season where they were narrowly defeated by local rivals Newport Gwent Dragons.

They also have Wales internationals Sam Warburton, Gethin Jenkins and Alex Cuthbert back in their ranks and hope to have new signing, USA Eagles full-back Callum Dolan available after arriving from the World Cup.

But they are without their top scorer in this competition – Gareth Anscombe – for the first four rounds.

Head coach Danny Wilson said: “We can’t relax for a moment in our group. Montpellier, Harlequins and Calvisano – it’s a really tough group that you could class as a Champions Cup group. Every game is vital.

“We are going through huge changes at the moment so Europe presents us with another chance to build our game.”

Calvisano have only won three of their 24 ties in the Challenge Cup though proved competitive at the Peroni Stadium in their last campaign (2012/13) that included holding French outfit Brive to a 20-20 draw.

Massimo Brunello’s squad are also in good form coming into the tournament. They share top spot in Italy’s Eccellenza having won four of their opening five games. This will be Calvisano’s first time facing Cardiff Blues or any other Welsh team in the Challenge Cup.

“It’s another opportunity for us to build on some of the things we are doing; for us to try and get some big performances to take into the festive period and big Welsh derbies,” said Wilson.

“It’s a different competition, but in terms of where we are as a group this is another series of games for us to build on what we are trying to achieve and our collective attitude.

“We are going through a series of huge changes and we have got to make sure we creating something to build on for years to come – Europe gives us another chance to do just that. We’ve got to learn our lessons from these games and those coming up before the big derbies.”

Scarlets secured their place in the 2015-16 European Rugby Champions Cup campaign after a dramatic victory, in the final game of the Guinness PRO12 season away to Benetton Treviso last May, saw them take sixth place in the table.

With qualification guaranteed Scarlets had the summer to prepare for what is another exciting challenge in one of the biggest club rugby tournaments in the world.

Scarlets captain Ken Owens, who was present at the official launch of the European Rugby Champions Cup last Wednesday, at the Twickenham Stoop, says that the competition always brings with it an added air of excitement.

The hooker, who missed out on representing the Scarlets in Europe last season due to injury said: “It’s the biggest competition in world rugby and there’s a certain buzz and different excitement at this time of year.

“We get the opportunity to play different teams, different players and new stadia. We’re looking forward to it. There’s a different aura around this time of year. The intensity steps up and it’s the closest you’re going to get to a test match without playing in one.”

Scarlets have been drawn in Pool 3 with Northampton Saints, Racing 92 and Glasgow Warriors who all have significant depth to their squads including global names, who shone at the Rugby World Cup.

“Having players like Dan Carter in the competition shows the strength of club rugby in the Northern Hemisphere. We’ve signed some quality from the World Cup too like DTH who was outstanding during the tournament and outstanding for us in his first two games.

“Everybody’s spoken about how difficult every group is. We’ve got to win our home games and pick up points on the road. We will take every game as it comes and enjoy playing against the best teams in Europe.”

Scarlets take on Northampton Saints on Saturday 14th November in the opening round of the Champions Cup before returning home to the Parc on Saturday 21st November to take on Dan Carter’s Racing 92.