Leinster the benchmark for European success says Quins boss Conor O'Shea 8 years ago

Leinster the benchmark for European success says Quins boss Conor O'Shea

19 years have passed since Conor O'Shea scored Leinster's first ever European Cup try on a Wednesday afternoon in Milan.

The Harlequins coach, who was on loan from London Irish at the time of the 24-21 victory, has overseen his team's unbeaten start to Pool 2 of the Champions Cup. His next challenge will be taking on his former team at The Stoop before a visit to the Aviva Stadium in mid December.


Quins followed up an opening win over Castres by defeating Wasps 23-16. Kiwi out-half Nick Evans unlocked the Castres' defence with an ingenious kick but brute force won the day at Adams Park. O'Shea was particularly pleased with his side's ruck clearing, set-pieces and massive hits delivered to the likes of Christian Wade, Nathan Hughes and Tom Varndell. The former Irish full-back says his squad will not run away with themselves after the winning start.

O'Shea said, 'It will be a packed out Aviva Stadium but we have weeks of intense rugby to get through first... Hopefully the younger fellas have got a chance to see exactly what we mean by intensity.'

O'Shea later told the EPCR website, 'It is incredibly exciting for this group - Leinster and Toulon are the ones who have set the benchmark in Europe in recent years... Leinster showed what they are all about by coming back from 16-9 down to take that victory in Castres and when you look at teams like Leinster and Munster they always seem to find a way to come though in tight games.'

Harlequins have been troubled by Irish sides in recent years. Connacht defeated them at The Sportsground in 2012 to eliminate them from the Heineken Cup pool stages. They emerged unbeaten from their pool in 2013 only to fall to a fired up Munster at The Stoop in the quarter finals.