Leinster Rugby head coach Leo Cullen has called the challenge of taking on Heineken Champions Cup Pool 1 leaders Toulouse next weekend as “an unbelievable test” for his side.
The defending champions were beaten 28-27 by Toulouse in Round 2 but have responded well, notching back-to-back victories over Bath Rugby last month to stand two points behind the French club.
However, Cullen – who is the only person to have won the European Cup as a coach and player – has admitted that this Toulouse team will provide a stern examination of Leinster’s mettle next Saturday.
“Toulouse are on an unbelievable run of form, so it’s going to be an unbelievable test for us,” said Cullen after Leinster’s Guinness PRO14 win over Ulster Rugby last weekend.
"Toulouse are on an unbelievable run of form – they beat Toulon 39-0 last week and looked incredibly dangerous."
Leo Cullen spoke about next weekend's crucial meeting with Toulouse after last night's win at the RDS. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/fmCB0PAIBk
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) January 6, 2019
“We saw their game when they beat Toulon 39-0 and they looked incredibly dangerous. They have all the things that we have seen from the great Toulouse teams over the years – very powerful forwards and very quick and skilful backs. It’s a pretty powerful combination.”
Cullen highlighted the impact of a sell-out crowd at the RDS Arena next Saturday, with the lunchtime kick-off attracting another capacity crowd to the Dublin venue.
“For the younger lads, getting the exposure to a full house here at the RDS is an amazing experience for them. It was sold out earlier in the week and that is great at this time of the year,” he said.
“That builds us into the next couple of weeks with a sell-out against Toulouse. Hopefully, everyone is in early for the start and we get that atmosphere in the ground and make it difficult for the opposition.
“We’ve got ourselves into a reasonably good position in our conference, but we will park that now for a couple of weeks and everything is back in Europe mode.”