After digging deep for a hard-fought win at Sandy Park on Sunday, Leinster now welcome the Exeter Chiefs back to Dublin this weekend knowing that a win will go a long way to securing a quarter-final berth in the European Champions Cup.
The Irish province sit pretty atop Pool 3, and will fancy their chances of trumping the Premiership champions on Saturday in front of a bumper crowd at Lansdowne Road.
While the news that Rhys Ruddock is out for the remainder of the season is certainly a blow, the Dublin 4 outfit are well stocked at back row.
The task ahead of Exeter has grown even more today, with the news that James Lowe has been registered to play on Saturday.
The Kiwi winger made his debut for Leinster against Treviso earlier this month, and looks to be a huge addition to the side.
Leinster Rugby can confirm that @jameslowenz has been registered in the #ChampionsCup squad ahead of Saturday's match against @ExeterChiefs. Rhys Ruddock has been deregistered. pic.twitter.com/i6ZCY1sEef
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) December 12, 2017
For Exeter, this is a game they desperately need to win if they are to retain hopes of topping the pool. While it was clear from Sunday’s tie that the two teams are not miles apart in terms of quality, Leinster are a different proposition in the Aviva Stadium, as Northampton Saints learned the hard way last year.
As Leinster begin to hit their stride, James Lowe coming into the European squad is another huge boost for Leo Cullen.