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Laussucq talks down Stade's chance in final

Stade Francais coach Christophe Laussucq fears his team have just a "10pc" chance of winning the Amlin Challenge Cup Final against Leinster.

The Parisians booked their place in the Dublin showdown with a late win over Perpignan on Friday night.

But they were hoping for an all-French affair in the final after Laussucq admitted his team will be rated outsiders to topple Leinster at the RDS Showground on May 17.

Laussucq said: "I hoped Biarritz would win the semi-final because Leinster are such a good team that I think we now have just a 10pc chance of winning the final.

"They have internationals and Lions throughout the team. They also have the experience of playing – and winning – on big occasions like the Heineken Cup final."

The final will be the 34th game of the season for the Paris club, and Laussucq argues the intensity of the French Top 14 will hamper Stade's chances having taken its toll on the players.

"The difference is obvious. Leinster can afford to rest their best players and concentrate on certain games, like Europe but someone like Sergio Parisse has played more than 40 games for us this season."

However, reaching the final caps a remarkable turnaround for Stade, who parted company with former Leinster coach Michael Cheika, having hauled themselves up to mid-table in the Top 14 after a disappointing start to the season.

Irish Independent