Healy ready for do-or-die clash
April 26, 2011
Leinster prop Cian Healy has been in fine form for club and country this season © Getty Images
Cian Healy freely admits that every single Leinster player must give their all if they are to dethrone Heineken Cup champions Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Toulouse defeated the province in last year's semi-finals but, crucially, this time around it is Leinster who have home advantage. Consequently, Healy is confident that the Irish outfit can gain revenge for their defeat in France 12 months ago. However, he is well aware that it will be far from easy.
"We know each other pretty well after all those times we have played them in the Heineken Cup," the Ireland prop said. "Potentially this could be our final game in the Heineken Cup this season so it will be a clear case of 'do or die,' there can be no holding back.
"I did play in last season's semi-final against them over in France and, while it is always great and enjoyable to play in those important games, you cannot enjoy it if you walk off without the win and we walked off without the win that would have put us in the final."
As a result, Healy and his colleagues are determined to make amends in front of what will be a sell-out crowd in Dublin.
"It is great to be going back the Aviva, we are turning it into a type of fortress, and the support we get there from the Leinster fans is unbelievable," he said. "They are there for us every game, big or small, and it will be great to have them behind us for the semi-final.
"The semi-final is an enormous game for us. We certainly know Toulouse are very strong up front, are a well drilled side and have quality throughout but we will focus on what we can and must do and not on what they can do.
"This will be our fifth match against French opposition this season as we played Clermont and Racing Metro in the group stages and those games confirmed that part of the way French clubs play can be their unpredictability and how they can come up with different ways to play and win.
"We are playing well and putting few things together and, while there are also a few things to work on, we feel we are going in the right direction under Joe (Schmidt), who is certainly getting the best out of the players."
Heineken Cup Semi-Finals:
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Heineken Cup Final
Saturday, May 21, 2011
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton
Cards, kicks, slips and scores: It's The Week in Pictures, the finest snaps from the last seven days of rugby
Huw Richards Rewinds to 1975 when three Welsh legends were handed their debuts and assesses their legacy
Seven places in the Champions Cup quarter-finals are up for grabs; we break down the permutations for each group in the final round of matches