Friday 27 April 2018

Clermont vow to discover hard edge for crunch Leinster clash

David Kelly

David Kelly

Clermont have vowed to toughen up in tonight's Heineken Cup quarter-final showdown with Leinster at the RDS, after coach Vern Cotter admitted: "We're a little soft right now."

Over 3,000 of the club's fanatical supporters arrive in Dublin today for the crunch showdown with the European champions, who welcome back injured trio Brian O'Driscoll, Shane Horgan and Kevin McLaughlin.

French international Aurelien Rougerie will captain Clermont from the wing and he has promised that his side will attack from the first whistle, despite a poor defeat away to Stade Francais last weekend.

"The game we want to play is like riding a bike; it is not forgotten," he said at the team's media briefing this week. Cotter hails the O'Driscoll-Gordon D'Arcy partnership as the best in world rugby. "This is probably the best combination that can exist in the centre," confirmed the Kiwi.

O'Driscoll has insisted that his side need to be vigilant despite last week's win in Munster -- their opening league win against their Irish rivals saw them lose a Heineken Cup tie a week later in the RDS to London Irish last autumn.

"We had a big win against Munster and then flattered to deceive a week later and got beaten in that contact area. We can't allow that to happen."

Irish Independent

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