Leicester Tigers stalwart Ben Youngs believes it will take something special for his side to beat Leinster this Saturday.
Leinster take on Leicester at Welford Road in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals this weekend in the first meeting between the sides since 2011.
Both clubs are among the most successful in Europe, as they hold six Champions Cup titles between them, while each hold the record for the most titles in their respective domestic leagues.
Leinster have been far more successful in recent seasons however, and although the Tigers do look to be back to their best, Youngs is well aware of the enormity of the challenge that awaits Leicester this Saturday.
Ben Youngs on the challenge Leinster pose.
“When you look at their star studded team, the amount of players who have won before in Europe with international experience and coming off the back of their Autumn and Six Nations performances,” Youngs told RugbyPass.
“Sexton is a key man for them along with Gibson-Park and they are very settled and know each other really well. It is a great challenge for us and we get to see where we are at against the best club team in Europe if not the best in the world.
“It is everything we want to do and we have come on loads this season but let’s see how far we really have come. We understand it is going to take something special from us as a group of players and then get excited about it.
“We are home and playing a team that has been formidable for years in Europe and you know you have to have a week to peak to get the victory.”
European week. 💪
Will you be with us on Saturday? pic.twitter.com/kU47J8DxvN
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) May 3, 2022
Both sides have experienced very different build ups in recent weeks.
A quick glance at each side’s recent fixtures would suggest that Leicester are in better form, as they put Bristol Bears to the sword at the weekend while Leinster have lost their last two games against the Stormers and Sharks.
However, Leinster sent a youthful side to South Africa which was without the bulk of their starting team, who should be well rested and raring to go when they take to the pitch at Welford Road.
Leinster have fallen short in the latter stages of the Champions Cup in the last couple of years, as they looked taken aback by their opponents’ physicality, although those inside the squad have insisted they have righted those wrongs.
The Irish province are the slight favourites to win on Saturday, although Leicester will have plenty of belief knowing that they have won all their home matches this season.