Monday 27 March 2017

O’Driscoll planning birthday bash with attitude

Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll will be hoping to celebrate his 32nd birthday with victory in Paris tonight to guarantee a home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup.
Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll will be hoping to celebrate his 32nd birthday with victory in Paris tonight to guarantee a home quarter-final in the Heineken Cup.
David Kelly

David Kelly

Leinster can bank a money-spinning Heineken Cup quarter-final, which could be played at Lansdowne Road, if they can beat Racing Metro in the Stade Colombes this evening, but Brian O'Driscoll has warned his side to keep their focus.

The 2009 winners can guarantee their second Dublin quarter-final in succession but, unlike last season when they played Clermont in the RDS, the re-developed Lansdowne Road is now available and Leinster have already played twice there this season and won handsomely.

"You can be sure they're not going to roll over," warned O'Driscoll, as a potential seven-figure bonanza dangles before his team's eyes. "There's huge pride to be had, particularly for French sides, about not losing at home, whether it be in the Top 14 or in Europe.

"I wouldn't envisage they're going to send out a team that expects to lose the game. They'll want to impress their home crowd, they'll want to finish the competition on a high, so we're certainly not going to walk into a home quarter-final.

"We'll have to fight for our victory and I anticipate a very hard game, as they always are in France, irrespective of the opposition."

Jamie Heaslip has again lost his race for fitness with the Six Nations looming large, but Gordon D'Arcy has recovered from a calf strain to play, with Luke Fitzgerald also getting a chance to impress after failing to find his form since coming back from serious injury.

Irish Independent

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