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Rugby

Leinster braced for hostile Loftus reception

───   MORGAN PIEK 08:20 Thu, 13 Jun 2024

Leinster braced for hostile Loftus reception | News Article
Garry Ringrose - Leinster

“We are under no illusion we are stepping into a very hostile environment. They are a proud team with a proud record in knockout games.”

The Irish giants, Leinster, have labelled themselves as the underdogs heading into their United Rugby Championship semi-final against the Bulls in Pretoria.

Leinster arrived in South Africa on Monday already and they have based themselves in Johannesburg as they prepare for the knockout game.

The Bulls did finish higher on the URC log, however, Leinster made it through to the final of the European Champions Cup where they were beaten 31-22 by Toulouse. The URC semi-final and potential final is the ideal opportunity to make amends and this will no doubt serve as extra motivation.

The Leinster assistant coach, Robin McBryde, said they are braced for a hostile environment on Saturday and is certainly does help having experienced stars returning from injury for the crunch game.

“You need as many fit players as you can – not just for the game, but also in training to prepare the team as best as possible,” said McBryde.

“We are under no illusion we are stepping into a very hostile environment. They are a proud team with a proud record in knockout games.

“To have players of the calibre of Garry Ringrose and Jack Conan coming back from injury is invaluable.

“It gives us a bit more strength in depth.”

Saturday’s semi-final at Loftus Versfeld kicks off at 16:00.

Morgan Piek OFM Sport

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