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Mal joined by new baby boy in blue as he cheers on his old pals

RETIRED Leinster player Malcolm O'Kelly will be cheering on the side with his own newborn boy in blue.

The Irish international and wife Stephanie (below) welcomed baby Cian into the world just seven weeks ago.

And although the first-time dad says he's a fanatic supporter of his old club, he has no expectations that his son will follow in his footsteps.

"I won't put too much pressure on him to go into rugby, maybe something a little bit easier when he's older," Malcolm said.

The only Leinster player to have played in the competition from the time it began 15 years ago up until last year, Malcolm said he was feeling the same jitters the team are going through in the final run-up to the big game.

"I was speaking with a lot of them there -- it's a very exciting time," he told the Herald. "There's a lot of nerves but also excitement. I know the pressure the players are under.

"I'm feeling those nerves now but I'm happy with my place. I'm happy to take things a bit easier and not have the weighty expectations of the game on my shoulders."

Malcolm stepped away from the game last year but says that he has great memories of the major clashes -- particularly with the strong English side that Leinster face on Saturday.

"I've played against Leicester a good bit -- in 2006 in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup we were just coming off our own Triple Crown victory and we were beaten by them in front of the home crowd," he said.

"And more recently in 2009, the final, of course, we won. This was definitely the highlight of my career, it was a great time.

"There is absolutely no way you can write Leicester off. They have won the Heineken Cup and are top of the English league. There is a great mix of international players. They're a great outfit."

But he has no doubt that Leinster can pull out a victory.

"We have an excellent back row. I think numbers nine and 10 will be our greatest challenge,"he said

"They have the English half-backs but of course we have the Irish half-backs."

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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