Leinster centre Garry Ringrose is equal parts excited and wary of the challenge that his side will face when they face off against Toulouse on Saturday.
Ringrose spoke to Pundit Arena along with various other members of the media during an event celebrating the launch of a partnership between himself and PwC – and delved into the first meeting between his side and Toulouse in France – a game that came down to the narrowest of margins.
“It was an incredibly tough game and a tough place to go. The atmosphere was incredible. I think we were beaten by the better team and we managed to claw back into it but then they proved their quality by not getting too fazed and scoring again to take the win.
“I’m sure it’ll be more of the same, whether it’s over there or here. The Toulouse team, and they’ve proven it in the Top 14 away from home, they’ve had incredible form and had great wins.
“They’ll have no shortage of confidence playing away from home and that increases the challenge for us to be better than we were in Toulouse. We need to be better than we have been for what will be one of the toughest games this year so far.”
The first meeting between Toulouse and Leinster ended with a scoreline of 28-27. Ringrose wasn’t afraid to admit that the better side won the day and with the second-offering just around the corner, expressed his belief that the depth of their squad is one of their most valuable assets.
“It really is about the one to 23, whatever team goes out for them. There will be threats right across the park.
“The counter-attacking threat they have off turnovers, how dangerous they are with the individuals they have. Collectively, they are all on the same page and they understand their attacking DNA.
“One of the areas which will be incredibly tough will be the primary tackler and then the guys either side of them and the guys either side of them again really can’t switch off for one second because they’ll beat the guy in front of you or get the offload away.
“If they get into their flow attacking-wise, which we found difficult when we played against them, they’ve proven game-on-game how difficult they can be to combat.”
And while Ringrose and Leinster will be heading into Saturday’s confident in their ability to get the job done over their French rivals, according to the 23-year-old, starting strong is absolutely crucial.
“Every game you go out to you have your eye on the ideal start and it doesn’t always go to plan but you just need to learn how you can be better each week. If a game doesn’t start the way you like you just have to stay in the moment and hopefully work back towards winning the game.
“But it may give you the opportunity to then learn from certain situations. Week-on-week you don’t overthink it too much. It’s constant learning, along with every other aspect of the game but how you start the game is very important.
“With Toulouse, to let them get an early lead wouldn’t be helpful at all.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena
Garry Ringrose was speaking in PwC at the official announcement of the player’s partnership renewal with the firm.