Leinster Rugby fly-half Johnny Sexton has insisted that his side are “looking forward” to the challenges that unbeaten Saracens will pose in the Heineken Champions Cup final next month in Newcastle.
The four-time winners continued their quest for a record-breaking fifth European Cup with a commanding 30-12 success over Toulouse in Sunday’s semi-final at the Aviva Stadium.
But Sexton – who was awarded Heineken Man of the Match after the victory – pointed out the threats that Saracens will pose when they meet in less than three weeks’ time.
“They [Saracens] are an outstanding side,” said the Ireland fly-half. “I think they referenced the match against us last year as a turning point.
“They have referred to our game and you hear their coach [Mark McCall] talking about it, so it’s obviously a big regret from them and a big learning point for them. I’m sure they are going to be relishing getting a chance to put things right against us.
FT: Leinster 30-12 Toulouse
Leinster shut down their French opponents and their hunt for a fifth star goes on! pic.twitter.com/qHcITaUfrI
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) April 21, 2019
“They are an exceptional team, so we are going to be up against it, but that is a challenge we are looking forward to.”
Sexton – who sits fourth on the all-time European points-scorers list – also highlighted how difficult it can be to get in, and then win, a Heineken Champions Cup final.
“I think every final is tough,” the 33-year-old added. “They are always tough. You don’t get into a European Cup final being an average team.
“They have a lot of experience – they have won finals and they have lost finals – so they have experienced both sides of the coin and I am sure they are going to be relishing it.”
- You can watch the Heineken Champions Cup final between Leinster Rugby and Saracens on Saturday 11 May from St James’ Park in Newcastle. Live TV coverage will be provided by Channel 4, Virgin Media, BT Sport, beIN SPORTS and FR2.