Tuesday 24 October 2017

Clermont out for revenge, warns Leinster’s Rob Kearney in new Irish Independent diary

LEINSTER star Rob Kearney believes Clermont Auvergne will be out to make a "big statement" when the two sides meet in a re-match of last season’s Heineken Cup semi-final.

Writing exclusively in a new Irish Independent player diary on Friday, the Lions full-back – who misses out on Sunday through an ongoing back injury – admits that the Heineken Cup champions have ridden their luck against the French side in their recent years.

However, that is not to say that the 26-year-old is writing his teammates off and he encourages them to visualise stopping the men in yellow securing their 51st home win in a row at the Stade Marcel Michelin in the crucial Pool 5 encounter.

“They are a class side,” Kearney writes. “They have progressed hugely over the past number of years and their squad is one of the best in club rugby in the world. That is undisputed. They are everything that Joe Schmidt has tried to make Leinster, that Joe has made Leinster.

“You have Clermont’s record at home, 50 games unbeaten. You can look at that and say, ‘that’s daunting, the odds are stacked against us’. But, then, you visualise yourself at the final whistle having just won. Having just broken their 50-game streak. That’s an awesome feeling, they are the type of things that you play sport for.”

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