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Friday 30 September 2016

Former Blues star Shane Horgan sees an upset in France as 'highly unlikely'

Shane Horgan
Shane Horgan

Former Leinster wing Shane Horgan just doesn't see his old club dethroning Toulon.

"I think Toulon will probably win," he offered up, matter-of-factly.

"They are at home. If you look at the stats, winning away in France isn't done very often.

"Although they are not as formidable a team as they were last season, they are still a very strong team at home and, although this is not in their own back yard, it is in France."

The inconsistent and even unacceptable recent form of Leinster does not bode well, the folding-cards collapse at The Dragons worn as a badge of shame.

The change it would take to propel Leinster from that low to the highest of European highs is hard to fathom.

"It is probably too big a jump for Leinster to make from the standard of performances that they've had since Christmas, and even before that, to jump to a level where they are going to beat Toulon."

It is certainly difficult to make a case for Leinster, fifth in the PRO12, against the leaders of the Top-14.

They have spluttered and stuttered all season.

There is little or no tangible evidence to point to as a reason of logic why it will all suddenly come together.

"That is not to say it is not possible. It is just unlikely," reflected Horgan.

"It will mean that Leinster would have to have their best performance of the year. If they do do that, they certainly have a chance of beating them.

"There hasn't been a process here of players in the Leinster team playing consistently well. That makes it more difficult."

But stranger things have happened.

"On the plus side, you look at the Irish team and some of the performances that were put in there, the likes of Luke Fitzgerald coming back in.

"They certainly have a chance. But I think it will be an upset if they do win."

Leinster

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