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Scarlets captain Ken Owens has years of experience playing with his region in the top flight of European club competition but still believes it’s an honour and a privilege to be a part of such a prestigious tournament.

The Scarlets are the sole Welsh representative playing in the Champions Cup this season as we extend our run in the top-tier of European club competition to 21 successive seasons but captain Owens admits we’re fortunate to be a part of it.

“I’m looking forward to it but we obviously have a tough pool. Europe is a great tournament; a great stage to play on and we’re fortunate to be involved in it this year.

“Every group is pretty much as tough as each other. That’s what it is. We’re looking forward to challenging ourselves against the best teams in Europe; the English Champions, the French runners up and Sale have been outstanding at the start of the season and were very good last year.

“Having a home game first up will help us, it’ll be good to start off at home and try and build some momentum. The European competition is all about building momentum.

“I think we have to target winning our home games and picking up whatever we can away from home. It’s going to be very difficult but if we put in our best performances, which we haven’t done yet this season, we’ll be there or thereabouts. Who knows what could happen, you get a bit of luck and momentum behind you. We’ll have to take it game by game and take our motivation that way.

With a record of zero from six last season Owens believes his side has a lot of work to do and agrees that the ambition is to improve on last season’s results and outcomes.

“Not to win a game in Europe is very frustrating, we came close at home but it wasn’t really good enough for a club with a proud tradition. Not to win a game in Europe is embarrassing and we have to put that right this season.”

Scarlets have won the last three games in the GUINNES PRO12 having lost the opening three encounters.

Owens went on to say; “We’re in the position we’re in. To finish with three wins from the last three matches has given us a bit of a positive going into the European campaign.

“There’s a huge frustration here at the moment. I don’t think we’re playing to our potential yet. They’re a strong side, they’ve got a big pack, a strong driving game. They’ll be coming down here to get an away win. We have to set our stall early, get a win to build that momentum.”

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