Leinster Rugby centre Rory O’Loughlin has predicted that the Irish province’s Heineken Champions Cup home game with Toulouse next month is going to be “massive”.

Back-to-back victories over Bath Rugby in Rounds 3 and 4 have left the defending champions just two points behind the French side, who top Pool 1 with 17 after four wins from four games.

And they have set up the encounter between the two four-time European Cup winners at the RDS Arena on January 12 – which will be televised live on BT Sport, Channel 4, Virgin Media, beIN SPORTS and FR2 – perfectly.

“The bonus point was the main thing,” O’Loughlin said of Leinster’s 42-15 win over Bath at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium in Round 4, after scoring one of the province’s six tries and being named Heineken Man of the Match. “We’ve been chasing Toulouse probably since we lost to them, so every point is crucial.

“We did all we could to get all the points possible and now it’s going to be a massive game against Toulouse. It’s building up to be a massive crunch game.”

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen stressed that his side have “plenty of work to do” to topple Toulouse and seal a quarter-final place.

“They’re a team who travel very well,” he said. “The mix they have of big, ball-carrying forwards who are able to manage contact on their terms and get the ball away is classic Toulouse. Some of their backs have a lot of pace and are very skillful, so they’re going to be a handful.

“They’re top of the pool, so we have plenty of work to do.”