Saturday 16 December 2017

Leinster have improved this season, warns Gopperth

Jimmy Gopperth. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Jimmy Gopperth. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Jimmy Gopperth has warned his Wasps team-mates that Leinster are a vastly superior side to the one they beat twice last season.

The Premiership leaders face Leinster in the Champions Cup quarter-final on Saturday and the former Blues out-half is expecting a much tougher challenge this time around.

Read more: The Left Wing: Leinster's defensive worries and why in-form Donnacha Ryan should leave Ireland at 35, not 33

The Kiwi spent two years in Dublin during which time he helped steer Leinster to the Guinness PRO12 title in 2014, but he believes that the addition of several quality young players has helped get the province back on track after they struggled in Europe last year.

"It (last season) hasn't been brought up once," said Gopperth. "Leinster are playing like a different team and Stuart (Lancaster) coming in has really given them some steel.

"They have a lot of the younger guys, (Garry) Ringrose, Adam Byrne and Tadhg (Furlong), who have really stepped up in the last 12 months so they are totally different team.

"They are a class outfit at the minute and we are not taking them lightly. Last year is gone.

"We know what's coming and it will certainly be a very physical challenge. The likes of Seanie (O'Brien) I'm sure will be lining me up to give me one or two.

"We just have to make sure we are mentally switched on because it is going to be a knockout game played at an international standard."

Irish Independent

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