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Heineken Champions Cup: Toulouse semi-final 'as big as it gets' - Leinster's Lowe

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Published in Rugby
Wednesday, 11 May 2022 03:19

Leinster wing James Lowe says they are out to match Toulouse's five titles as they head into Saturday's Champions Cup semi-final against the the holders.

The four-time champions lie just one behind the French side's tally going into the Aviva Stadium showdown.

"I think this is as big as it gets - to win this title, we've got to beat the best," said Lowe.

"They've got five stars on their chest and that's something we've been striving towards for years."

Leinster prop Cian Healy and wing Jimmy O'Brien are doubts for the game after coming off for head injury assessments in last weekend's quarter-final win over Leicester at Welford Road.

The pair will follow the return-to-play protocols while lock James Ryan (concussion) and hooker Ronan Kelleher (shoulder) have been passed fit and number eight Max Deegan (shoulder) could be available after returning to training.

Toulouse progressed to the semi-finals after overcoming Munster in a dramatic penalty shootout in Dublin on Saturday.

Lowe is happy to be among the penalty takers against the Top 14 champions if another shootout is required to decide the victors.

"They're a championship side, that's for sure. They're the current champions, the current double champions and they're a team that play a beautiful game of rugby," added the Irish international.

"On top of all that, we know if we can get our stuff right and try to limit their opportunities, we can go a long way.

"Our home fans will turn up in droves, I'm sure. Dublin will definitely turn it on. We know if we can turn in a clinical performance, we'll put our best foot forward.

"Toulouse have a lot of outstanding individuals that we have to keep on red alert for. But that's the name of the game. You're into knockout footy. It's amazing to be at home and hopefully we get a sold-out crowd.

"Yeah, I'll definitely put my hand up (in shootout) - I know the drama is amazing for the spectator but jeepers, when I heard that game went to 100 minutes. I wouldn't want to play 100 minutes, 80 minutes is well and truly enough."

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