Gordon D'arcy urges Leinster to "take a leaf out of Munster's book" ahead of La Rochelle clash
The former Ireland star wants to see Leinster follow a Munster-style approach in Saturday's European Cup Final.
Former Leinster centre Gordon D'arcy has called for Leo Cullen's Leinster side to "take a leaf out of Munster's book" ahead of their revenge clash with La Rochelle in this weekend's Champions Cup Final.
With Leinster having fallen to an agonising 16-15 defeat at the hands of provincial rivals Munster last weekend, in a result which scuppered their hopes of a potential double, D'arcy now feels all the pressure is on Leinster this Saturday.
"You can almost taste the pressure as they try to find a playing solution to the impasse that they have faced in a brace of defeats (to La Rochelle)", remarked the 82-time-capped centre in his Irish Times column.
After losing out to Ronan O'Gara's side last May in the same competition, Leo Cullen must look for another way to best the physicality of the French side, something which D'arcy feels Leinster simply can't match.
"It is again a battle of sporting philosophies... the difference is that Leinster... don't have their opponents power game to employ when required".
However, D'arcy sees a way for Leinster to circumvent the size and power of their French opponents- to revert to a similar game plan deployed by Munster in the pair's URC semi final clash last weekend.
"Cullen's team might take a leaf out of Munster's book, show up with a clear and concise plan, stay the course even if they can't convert all their opportunities, and, crucially, find that way to win".
Speaking to Leinster's selection issues from that defeat to Munster, in which a raft of frontline players were rested ahead of this weekend's European final, D'arcy said that getting the balancing act of selection right is "of paramount importance".
Calling for the reintroduction of South African lock Jason Jenkins to the starting pack, the pundit said that it would be instructive to see whether and where he starts.
"Jenkins was signed to bring a physical edge to the pack, and his ability to deliver clean ruck ball with James Ryan will be huge... For Leinster, these matches are won and lost at the breakdown".
Despite the loss to Munster last weekend, Leinster remain the bookies favourites to add a fifth star to their jersey, but in D'arcy's eyes "the odds are stacked against them in this one".
- Staggering figures see Irish rugby fans priced out of World Cup dream
- Ireland’s three World Cup warm-up matches confirmed, with one in France
- ‘If you don’t get better, you get beaten’ – Ronan O’Gara ready to scale another mountain
- Leinster in danger of finishing with one major trophy in three seasons as familiar flaws return