After being beaten in the Heineken Champions Cup final in May, Leinster Rugby duo Jordan Larmour and Will Connors insist the Irish province have learned a lot from that loss and are aiming to put that to good use this season.

Both missed the 24-21 defeat to Stade Rochelais in the showpiece final in Marseille – but were hurting just like the rest of their teammates afterwards and don’t want to experience that feeling again.

“There were probably a lot of learnings, just how hard it is to actually win the [Heineken] Champions Cup,” explained versatile back Larmour, a member of the 2018 final side who beat Racing 92 15-12 and the 2019 final line-up who lost 20-10 to Saracens.

“After 2018, I thought ‘great, this is what every year is going to be like’. That’s definitely not the case. It is one of the toughest competitions in the world to win and we learnt that last year.

“40 seconds to go, La Rochelle get a score, obviously it’s gutting. But we learnt a huge amount from that that we’re trying to implement this season.”

Flanker Connors added: “It was difficult for us. It was a really tough day. A few things just didn’t go for us. They played well.

“But that is top-level rugby. You know it’s two great teams going at it and that lingers a little bit.

“You have that feeling driving into this season and you want to right the wrongs of last season and you want to come away with silverware.”

Leinster have been drawn in Pool A of this season’s competition against Racing and Gallagher Premiership side Gloucester Rugby, and the Irish province are keen to build on finishing runners-up in 2022.

“[We] keep trying to grow as a team,” Larmour said. “We’re a hugely ambitious and motivated team this year. We want to do our best and to put our best foot forward.

“A huge part of what we talk about at Leinster is winning and also making special memories, especially for the group, our friends, our family. We want to do right by them.

“We want to put on good performances and at the end of the day it is about winning. It’s what drives us every day.

“We talk about it a lot and it’s the standards that we hold ourselves to. It’s reflected on by winning trophies, winning tournaments, and that’s definitely something that drives us all.”

But Connors understands that it is no easy task when they open their campaign at Racing on Saturday afternoon.

“French teams away from home are always tough for us; they have their own venue and their fans really get into it,” said Connors.

“I know it’s not in Paris, but it’s a huge challenge. They’re obviously doing well in the TOP 14 this year. We’re looking forward to it.”