Harlequins skipper Danny Care roared a defiant message to next season's Challenge Cup rivals after his side's 26-19 final defeat against Montpellier in Lyon - 'we'll learn from this and we'll be ready next year'.

It was a double-dose of despair for Care and his side in that defeat also condemned his side to another season outside the Champions Cup ranks.

Having slipped to seventh in the Aviva Premiership with a crushing last round home defeat to Exeter Chiefs, winning the Challenge Cup was their last chance to get into the Champions Cup.

And, with the second tier European competition on the menu again next season, Care insists will be out to go one step further next term.

"Montpellier are a very physical side, very powerful. It was a very tough fight out there. We managed to find some solutions in the end, but we gave them too many points and we let some points get away," said Care.

"We were much better in the beginning of the season, but we were not at that level tonight. But I'm still very proud because it was a difficult week for the club and I hope we'll be able to win this competition again next year.

"We have to be honest - we're not where we wanted to be in terms of our game.

"We'll work hard next year to find a way back to the final and win this tournament. The last couple of years, the things have slipped a bit out of our hands.

"We have to rediscover the motivation so we don't ever have to go through those scenes in the dressing room again. We'll learn from this defeat and we'll be ready next year."

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Disappointed: Quins flanker Chris Robshaw admitted his side were beaten by the better team in Lyon last week

England Grand Slam hero Chris Robshaw also spoke of the bitter disappointment of not being able to send-off director of rugby Conor O'Shea or mark prop Seb Adeniran-Olule's passing with another trophy.

Robshaw had led Harlequins to their 2011 triumph over Stade Francais Paris in Cardiff, their record third victory in the tournament, but there was to be no repeat at Grand Stade de Lyon against Jake White's massive pack.

"Full credit to Montpellier, they squeezed us early on and put the pressure on us. They had a very effective driving maul. They played it better than we did," admitted Robshaw.

"Whenever you get to a final it is about who is more clinical. You don't get too many opportunities out there. We had a few, but couldn't get them over the line and credit to their defence.

"It is frustrating because we wanted to finish on a high with Conor leaving. It's just a shame we didn't give him a big send off because he has been fantastic for this club.

"It will be a sad time saying goodbye to him. The best way would have been by giving him a win tonight, but sport can be a harsh place at times - we really wanted to win it for Conor and for Seb, after what happened earlier in the week."