Leinster seeks to get redemption against La Rochelle as they face each other in the Dublin decider. The Irish province aims to equal Toulouse’s haul of five Champions Cup titles with a win on Saturday at the sold-out Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The Fuel for Leinster’s Redemption
The agonizing defeat of Leinster by La Rochelle during last year’s Heineken Champions Cup final has fueled their desire to achieve redemption. According to Ireland scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, great teams use defeats as motivation.
“There’s probably no doubt that it has [fuelled] us in getting to this point,” said the player who won the Champions Cup with Leinster back in 2018. “When you work with a collective group and fall at the last hurdle, it’s hard especially when it ‘s like that – just a few minutes from game end.”
Last year’s disappointing loss was difficult for them but served as an inspiration for their current bid towards glory.
Leinster vs La Rochelle Rematch
In their quest towards victory, Leinster will play without captain Johnny Sexton due to his groin injury sustained during Ireland’s Grand Slam-clinching Six Nations win over England. Ross Byrne is expected to replace him as fly-half while injured backrower Will Connors will also be absent from the team.
“He (Sexton) is such a big part of Leinster over however long it is and he’s an unbelievable player so we miss him massively,” explained Gibson-Park about Sexton’s absence. “But I think Ross has done a pretty good job up until this point.”
Leinster will aim to leverage their home advantage and impressive performance in Lansdowne Road with an emphatic 41-22 victory over Toulouse during the semi-final. It would be a significant achievement for Leinster if they can grab their elusive fifth star jersey, which would equalize Toulouse’s success.
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