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Parisse: Siege mentality is key

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Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip and Stade Francais captain Sergio Parisse. Picture: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip and Stade Francais captain Sergio Parisse. Picture: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip and Stade Francais captain Sergio Parisse. Picture: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Number eight Sergio Parisse is counting on a siege mentality to bond Stade Francais into an unbreakable unit against Leinster in the Amlin Challenge Cup final tonight.

"We know everyone is going to be against us," he said. "From my point of view, I have achieved some experience playing away here in Ireland against the Irish team.

"We respect Leinster a lot. We know that the match will be really, really tough. Even if O'Driscoll doesn't play, it is still Leinster.

"The most important thing is trying to manage the pressure, especially for the young players, to not think about the context, don't think about Leinster, the stadium, the supporters – the fact we play a final."

Stade have built belief on the back of away wins at Bath and Perpiginan in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively.

"Our team, we play with continuity because against Bath and Perpignan it was the same 15 playing those matches."

Parisse stressed the dynamism and strike running expressed in the win over Bath as an example of how Stade can play in the wide channels.

There was a similarity between what Stade did to Bath and the way in which Glasgow stretched Leinster in the PRO12 semi-final last week.

"We hear a lot of things about Leinster, how it is a strong team, how it is probably a better team than us. But, in the same way, we have seen a lot of Leinster matches, especially the last match against Glasgow," added Parisse.

"We see that this is a team that we can beat, for sure."

Leinster beware. It could be Glasgow in disguise.


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