Wednesday 11 December 2019

Cullen expects tough opening test for Leinster against Italians

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen. Photo: Sportsfile

Leinster Rugby's Heineken Champions Cup campaign kicks off tomorrow with the visit of Benetton Rugby to the RDS Arena (KO 3.15pm) and there are tickets still available for the game.

Benetton are unbeaten in their last two visits to the RDS, though Leinster came out on top (27-32) away from home when the two sides met in the Guinness PRO14 at the start of the season.

Please log in or register with for free access to this article.

Log In

Speaking at the launch of the Champions Cup last week, Leo Cullen emphasised the challenge the Italians would pose.

"When Europe comes around, there's always a little bit of excitement because it's such a big tournament for us as a club," Cullen told

"It starts all over again. New teams, new challenges all the time. For us, now we're just trying to get back to winning ways. It's going to be a tough start for us. It's going to be a great challenge again.

"We've struggled against them over the last couple of seasons. We had a very tight win over there. It was quite a scrappy game. There were a good few tries scored, but a lot of errors from both teams. [It will be] a totally different challenge in Europe, a different competition. It's been a while since we played Treviso in Europe.

"Our guys are looking forward to getting going."

Tickets for Leinster v Benetton at the RDS Arena are available now from and will also be available tomorrow from 1.30pm at the ticket office.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: John Cooney on Ulster's European run and bouncing back from World Cup disappointment

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport