SHAUN Edwards has been in nine semi-finals with Wasps; he has won eight of them.

Tomorrow will be his tenth and when asked how his players would react following the disappointment of losing to Bath last week, his answer sounded more like an order than a reply.

He said: “The players are hungry and ready, with no excuses.”

It’s not the Heineken Cup and it’s not the Guinness Premiership, but the Amlin Challenge Cup is almost certainly Wasps’ last chance to rescue a season that shrinks in comparison with the club’s recent achievements.

Edwards said: “I disagree with the opinion that the league has not gone that well.

“With the amount of injuries we’ve had, to come fifth and qualify for the Heineken Cup is a relative success.

“Failure is not qualifying for the Heineken Cup, relative success is qualifying for the Heineken Cup and big success is winning a trophy.

“We’ve still got a chance of doing that and we’re very determined to take it.”

Edwards knows better than most how tough it will be though – as coach of Wales, he has worked with many of the Blues first hand.

He said: “We’re playing against an outstanding team brimful of internationals.

“They’re like a who’s who of Test rugby when you look at their side and they are definitely one of the red-hot teams in Britain at the moment.

“Their form is outstanding. I watched them against Llanelli and they were absolutely superb.

“The scoreline [39-16 away] was convincing, but they actually won it more convincingly than the scoreline says.”

Edwards’ dual role offers Wasps a unique insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents, but Cardiff’s Xavier Rush says it could actually work in their favour.

He said: “He will know quite a few of our players and maybe how to shut them down, but Shaun Edwards takes a pretty major role ing Wasps’ defensive strategies and quite a few of our boys will know his structures and strategies as well.

“Hopefully it will even itself out.”