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City buzzing as excitement hits fever pitch ahead of Blues' bid to tame Tigers

DUBLIN was abuzz with excitement today as Leinster faced the Leicester Tigers at the Aviva Stadium.

Fans gathered in watering holes around the ground before the start of the game as the air of anticipation grew.

Tens of thousands of supporters descended on Dublin 4 to cheer their team on in the Heineken Cup quarter-final tie.

Speaking ahead of the match, Brian O'Driscoll said he wants to ensure he wins multiple trophies to establish a legacy before he hangs up his boots.

He was part of the Leinster side that claimed Europe's biggest trophy in 2009.

However, O'Driscoll is anxious that Leinster prove themselves again.

The Ireland captain said lots of teams are capable of winning something once, but "you become a good team and a good player if you can win multiple championships".

He added that he is unsure how many years he has left, saying the "opportunities are running out".

True-blue supporter Keith Whelan (30) will miss out on Leinster's progress as he gets ready to row across the Indian Ocean -- alone and without clothes! Keith is packing his bags before setting off on the journey from the western coast of Australia.

But the adventurer said his preparations meant he had to put his blue jersey away ahead of the naked challenge.

"I'm a big Leinster fan but I had to give away my tickets for the game," he said.

"Bernard Jackman has actually tweeted at me to wish me luck. It will be disappointing to not know how they get on," he added. "I was looking forward to planning a trip to the Rugby World Cup but now I'll have to rethink."

The rower, originally from Athy, Kildare, said that he will be at sea for more than 100 days and 6,000km, but his biggest fear is not being able to complete the challenge in aid of the charity Keep A Child Alive.

Meanwhile, sisters Meggan and Holly Meade from Maynooth claim to be Leinster's biggest fans and have followed the team around parts of Europe on the campaign trail.

Meggan (18) and Holly (16), who are pupils at King's Hospital, said there is a big emphasis on rugby in school and at home.

"I've been following Leinster since I was in first year," said Meggan, who is studying for her Leaving Cert. "We have a season ticket so we go to a lot of the games -- we've been to Thomond Park and London for the Harlequins match.

"We went to all the games when they played in Donnybrook. After the match, they'd come out and sign autographs and pose for pictures," she added.

comurphy@herald.ie


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