Tuesday 12 December 2017

Toulouse fear mauling from 'scary' Leinster

Hugh Farrelly

Toulouse coach Guy Noves believes Leinster are in "scary" form heading into tomorrow's Heineken Cup semi-final showdown, with Shane Horgan claiming the Irish side are "willing to do anything" to replicate their European success of 2009.

Leinster came acropper in the last four of the Heineken Cup and the Magners League final last season, and Horgan says the pain of those reverses will drive his side on.

"When you taste success, you want to replicate it and you can really sense the same desire that was around for our Heineken Cup-winning year," said Horgan. "The guys are willing to do anything to achieve that, especially having a trophy-less season last year -- that really hurt."

Coach Joe Schmidt is well aware of the threat posed by Toulouse from his time in France.

"When I was with Clermont there was a realisation that you could play really well against Toulouse and still get knocked over because someone could do something extraordinary," he said. "I'm not delighted to see them again but I'm totally energised by the challenge."

Schmidt's counterpart believes Leinster deserve to go into the tie as favourites and says the Blues are a stronger outfit under Schmidt than the side Toulouse defeated last year.

"This Leinster team is scary," said Noves. "It seems their training is a little stronger than last year and some players have strengthened their squad. I hope we raise our game to compete. We will try not to take a big hammering."

Both sides announce their teams today, with Leinster likely to stick with the side that beat Leicester in the quarter-final.

Irish Independent

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