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Aled hoping to brew up a storm on the Biarritz wing

Aled Brew jinks along La Cote des Basques, kicking the sand with a freedom only a few weeks ago he thought he could never relish.

The former Wales international winger had to sit in the Gloucester stands and watch his impressive stand-in, France U-20 sensation Teddy Thomas, run riot in Biarritz's five-try quarter-final romp, dovetailing superbly with the freakishly talented USA wing Takudzwa Ngwenya in broken-field play.

However, after returning to Top 14 duty last week following ankle trouble, locals suggest he will reclaim his wing berth for the Amlin Cup semi-final showdown with Leinster in Dublin this weekend, and the player, who debuted internationally against Ireland as far back as 2007, has a simple mission.

"We're going to run them off their feet," the 26-year-old declares, as the erstwhile French giants chase an elusive back-door qualification into the Heineken Cup for the second successive season.

For Biarritz, a poor shadow of the side whose impressive European credentials were such that few expected Munster to topple them to claim their first Heineken Cup success in 2006, there is simply no other option than to come out fighting.

Stranded in mid-table limbo after another mediocre season, battling indifferent form and more change in coaching personnel, this is the Basque side's only shot at Heineken Cup qualification.

They eventually qualified last year, via the most soporific rugby occasion ever committed to green grass, when downing Toulon at the Stoop. Few, however, give them much chance of seeing off a driven Leinster side this weekend.

However, a stunning quarter-final success in Gloucester – a thrilling triumph of free-running rugby, backboned by the familiar bruising figures of the pack, all directed with predictable aplomb by the masterful Dimitri Yachvili – has given them some hope.

"We're concentrating on ourselves rather than worry about Leinster," declares Brew, who starred for every Welsh region bar Scarlets before decamping to France three seasons ago. Offensively, we know they are very good and Leinster's kicking game is pretty solid, too, so we are aware of their strengths.

"But we need to bring a good tempo to the game and try to run them off their feet. We'll try to play exactly like we did against Gloucester. We're away from home, we haven't the vast crowd behind us, so we really need to take the game to them.

"We can't sit back and defend all day by kicking the ball. We have to take the game to them and I reckon it will be a good game to watch."

After losing to Connacht embarrassingly in their Heineken Cup qualification pool, Biarritz head honcho Serge Blanco dumped coaches Jack Isaac and Serge Milhas.

Since then, Laurent Rodriguez and Mathieu Rourre have tentatively transformed the style of play from seemingly somnambulant indifference to a style that at least allows the wingers to receive the ball occasionally.

"What the new coaches have done is to give us different patterns, a new structure that might help us when we play against a team like Leinster, who are defensively very strong," says Brew.

"We have nothing to play for in the French league, we're in limbo really. We can't get relegated and we can't qualify for Europe. So, this is the biggest game of the season for us really."

Biarritz (possible) – Bosch; Ngwenya, Baby, Traille, Brew; Barraque, Yachvili; Synaeghel, Heguy, Broster; E Lund, Taele; Dubarry, Harinordoquy (capt), Lakafia.

Irish Independent