Leicester’s Jasper Wiese aware of threat Champions Cup opponents Leinster pose

Leicester’s Jasper Wiese aware of threat Champions Cup opponents Leinster pose

Jasper Wiese has highlighted how big a Heineken Champions Cup challenge Leicester face by describing quarter-final opponents Leinster as “probably the best club team in the world”.

Leicester head to Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Friday, where the tournament favourites will await them.

And although Tigers have won four of the fierce rivals’ previous 11 European meetings, the odds are stacked against them.

Leinster, chasing a record-equalling fifth European title this term, have romped into the last eight.

They can reflect on five-successive victories through the pool stage and round of 16, amassing a total of 214 points at an average of 43 points a time.

“They are so clinical,” Leicester’s South Africa international back-row forward Wiese said.

“I would say they are probably the best club team in the world if you go on performance and how they operate.

“They are a brilliant team and we need to front-up for a big battle. It is a really good challenge for us to see where we are.

“To match yourself against the best is probably one of the better tests you will get in a club career.

“You definitely have to try and slow them down. They play quickly with very good ruck speed. They have got a world-class pack and our challenge first of all is to try and stop them there.”

Leicester boss Richard Wigglesworth was part of the Saracens team that beat Leinster in the 2019 final and he also featured in a quarter-final victory over them at the Aviva Stadium.

Tigers’ latest experience of the Irish heavyweights produced a quarter-final home defeat last season, when Leinster took charge early on and did not look back.

Wigglesworth said: “They came out and were dominant early on. They kept us at arm’s length and it was a quarter-final that they had complete control over after the first 20 minutes. They did a job on us early.

“You are coaching against brilliant coaches – Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster are just running a machine. It doesn’t matter who plays for them, they always win. They have a massive squad packed full of quality.

“We are massively excited by it. We’ve said how big a challenge this is and we are not going to shy away from that. If you are not excited by this, you are in the wrong job.

Richard Wigglesworth
Leicester boss Richard Wiglesworth is preparing his players for Leinster’s challenge (Joe Giddens/PA)

“They are that good that you can’t really see a weakness. They are so well-coached and they have got such good players.

“We’ve got to play exactly how we want to play the game. Whether that is good enough to compete against Leinster, we will find out, but we are determined to give the absolute best of ourselves.

“We get stuck into battles and that is what we will do on Friday night.”