Tuesday 18 December 2018

'They are a sensational side to watch' - Ex-England star Healy says Leinster are best Champions Cup team ever

12 May 2018; The Leinster team celebrate with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. SPORTSFILE.
12 May 2018; The Leinster team celebrate with the cup after the European Rugby Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Racing 92 at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao, Spain. SPORTSFILE.

Former England international Austin Healey has called the current Leinster team 'the best of all-time' in European rugby.

Leinster won their fourth European Cup in Bilbao last season, edging Racing 92 in a tight decider to become just the second team to lift the trophy after winning all nine of their matches.

The strong showing from Leinster in last season's competition, coupled with the strength in depth built up over the last few years, has Leo Cullen's side as firm favourites to win the tournament again this year, and Leicester legend Healy thinks that they are the best team team of the European Cup era.

Healy claimed back-to-back Heineken Cups with Leicester in 2001 and 2002, but speaking on Rugby Tonight on BT Sport, gave the edge to Leinster in the head-to-head debate.

"I think they are probably the best of all-time if I had to pick one," Healey said.

"They are a sensational side to watch. In the group stages they were sensational to watch. They've got front five players playing like midfield backs. Everyone is offloading. They play with such a confidence. They are the sort of team you dream of playing in and being a part of. That's the biggest compliment you can pay them."

Lawrence Dallaglio sided with Leicester in the 'best of all-time' discussion, but said that the coaching Leinster are receiving from head coach Cullen and senior coach Stuart Lancaster makes them a formidable opponent.

"You start with the coaches, they are incredibly well coached," Dallaglio added.

"This is a Leinster team that have had Joe Schmidt as their coach, they've now got Leo Cullen organising things and clearly they benefit from Stuart Lancaster as well."

Dallaglio thinks that Leinster's ultimate aim is to emulate Toulon's achievement of claiming three European Cups in-a-row.

"If you are talking purely European rugby, to win it three times on the trot is pretty special and Leinster are trying to do that," he said.

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