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Heaslip: History means nothing

JAMIE HEASLIP insists that once Leinster take to the field against the Exeter Chiefs on Saturday their title as "champions" means nothing.

THE marauding number eight is bidding for his fourth Heineken Cup triumph in five years and believes that old successes count for nothing once the competition restarts.

"The thought of being champions, for me anyway, is gone," he said.

"It is not our title anymore. That is the same as the first time we won it, the same as the second time we won it.

"We won it last year, that was great. No one owns that cup, but we are chasing. We are chasing it hard, harder than we ever have.


"We have put a lot of work in. Everyone is trying to tighten up little things. Their diet maybe, their lifestyle and sleeping habits, their recovery. It's all about marginal gains you can get to kick off again."

The Kildare man doesn't see any reason why Joe Schmidt can't lead his team to an unprecedented three-in-a-row in Europe's premier club competition.

"Nothing can't be accomplished," he said. "I'm greedy. I want to win everything. That's it. Anything that I'm involved in, any organisation or team I'm involved in, I want them to win.

"We can win the Heineken Cup again, it all starts this weekend and I think the team are putting themselves in a position to play well.

Exeter gave an example of their strength last weekend by walloping Conor O'Shea's Harlequins 42-28 and Heaslip won't be taking them for granted.

"Exeter are a formidable force. They have a very good pack, they have ball carriers and ball players in the pack and all over the place," he added.

"They are a good side who like to play with a bit of width but can bash it up as well. So we have to respect them on all fronts."