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Ospreys lead the Welsh rugby regions’ march in Europe as odds are slashed

The Ospreys are genuine contenders to win the Heineken Champions Cup this season after a morale-boosting weekend for all the Welsh regions.

For the first time in six years, all four Welsh sides recorded victories in Europe to give Wales coach Warren Gatland a real shot in the arm before he names his Six Nations squad on Tuesday.

Welsh bookmakers DragonBet have the generous odds on the Ospreys to lift Europe’s premier trophy at 100/1 this could well be a value bet following their back-to-back victories over French champions Montpellier.

The Ospreys must go to Leicester Tigers on Friday night, where they can clinch their place in the last 16 of the tournament.

After completing their impressive double, Ospreys coach Toby Booth said: “It’s important to be in this competition because we want to test ourselves and have days and evenings like this.

“We also want to get into knock-out rugby and see where we can go. That’s us moving forward.”

In the European Challenge Cup, Cardiff secured a 42-10 victory over Newcastle, while the Scarlets also sealed a 20-17 victory over the Cheetahs.

The Dragons, too, have moved up the running and are fancied by many shrewd judges to lift the Challenge Cup after an impressive 21-15 win in France against Pau.

It was the Rodney Parade side’s first win on French soil for three years.

The Scarlets are guaranteed a home tie in the last 16, while Cardiff need to win out in Brive to be sure of one. The Dragons can book a spot in the knock-out stages by beating the Lions at home.

With the feelgood factor returning to Welsh regional rugby, Gatland is being backed more firmly to hit the ground running when he takes charge of Wales for the second time with the forthcoming Six Nations.

DragonBet offer odds of 14/1 on Wales lifting the trophy.

With the new Wales squad could well come a change of national captain with Gatland having retaken the reins.

Dan Biggar is the odds-on favourite to reclaim the job he did before injury ruled him out of the Autumn Series. DragonBet make Biggar 1/3 to be named as Wales captain for the tournament.

Second favourite is Ospreys back rower Jac Morgan (5/1), while the most recent skipper, Justin Tipuric is priced at 9/1 to carry on wearing the armband.

The other contenders for the role are Adam Beard (10/1), veteran hooker Ken Owens (12/1) and former skipper Alun Wyn Jones (16/1).

Odds on Wales Six Nations Squad Captain:

Dan Biggar

Jac Morgan

Justin Tipuric

Adam Beard

Ken Owens

Alun Wyn Jones

Dewi Lake

Taulupe Faletau

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