Thursday 15 November 2018

'This is kind of their time, they need to win one' - Luke Fitzgerald gives his Champions Cup verdict

Leinster's Luke McGrath
Leinster's Luke McGrath
Leinster's Luke McGrath

Sam Roberts

Luke Fitzgerald says Leinster's new generation "need to win" silverware ahead of their Champions Cup final against Racing 92 this weekend.

"This is kind of their time, they need to win one," Fitzgerald told Will Slattery on this week's episode of The Left Wing podcast, in association with Laya Healthcare.

Leinster take on French club Racing in the Champions Cup final in Bilbao on Saturday, with the Irish side heavy favourites to take home their fourth European Cup.

Fitzgerald noted that many of Leinster's current group have not yet seen success in the blue jersey, and their inexperience in major finals may be an issue this weekend.

"They've had a few lean enough years, they obviously got beaten badly last year in both semi-finals.

"It'll be tighter than people think. I think they will win, but its still a final, there will be nerves there.

"Think of Luke McGrath, he'll have his hands on the ball a lot, it might take him a while to settle in to the game.

"James Lowe I don't think has been in a final of this magnitude in terms of the crowd that will be there and the pressure."

However, Fitzgerald is backing Leinster to win their first European Cup since 2012, and expects the men in blue to exploit Racing's defence in a way that Munster were unable to in the semi-final.

"They are favourites for a reason and I think its justified.

"Leinster will spread them out better [than Munster]. They'll find holes, they'll find ways to get go-forward, and they have more destructive carriers than Munster have in the pack"

"I think Leinster will win, but it's going to be tough."

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