Sunday 9 December 2018

Leinster using 2011 Heineken Cup win for inspiration


Leinster's Robbie Henshaw. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Leinster's Robbie Henshaw. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Robbie Henshaw has revealed that Leinster have been dipping into the archives in search of motivation to bridge a six-year gap between European titles.

The coaches have introduced footage of the famous 2011 final win over Northampton Saints, when out-half Johnny Sexton inspired them to come-back from a 22-6 half-time deficit to beat the English champions in Cardiff, during video review sessions to inspire their unbeaten run to the final.

While seven players involved that day still play for Leinster, only four of the team that played in the win are expected to feature this weekend, while then captain Leo Cullen is now bidding to become the first man to win the tournament as a player and a head coach.

And as they bid to beat Racing 92 to claim their fourth European title, they are hoping the inspiration of past success helps fuel a performance.

"The comeback against Northampton was unbelievable and we've actually watched bits of it this year just to give us a taste of what it was like," Henshaw explained.

"For the guys who were lucky enough to be there that day and to be involved, and are still involved, it's a credit to them. The likes of Johnny and Isa (Nacewa), Richardt (Strauss) and everyone across the board... we want to go and do the business.

"I suppose it kinda shows where we have to go to if we want to win trophies, and what we have to do for each other; creating that brothers' mentality."

Both Leinster and Racing travel to Bilbao tomorrow ahead of Saturday's final.

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