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Monday 18 December 2017

Cullen wants home comforts to benefit Blues

Leo Cullen
Leo Cullen

The mere fact Leinster host Wasps in The Champions Cup quarter-final means they have a 75 per chance chance of making the semi-final stage.

That is the statistical return from the history of the competition, Saracens defying the odds in 2014 and 2015, Munster in 2013 and Leinster in 2009.

"I just think it's home comforts for players, it does matter," said head coach Leo Cullen. "It's hard to exactly determine on any given week the difference it makes.

Support

"But, playing in front of, especially for a team like Leinster where so many of the players have grown up reasonably close to the ground or in the province.

"Having that sense of support from family and friends as well, that sense of responsibility is a big thing."

Leinster won't fall into the trap of believing it will just happen for them.

It was only last season Wasps completed home and away victories over The Blues in their Pool.

Munster have been rewarded with the prime-time Saturday evening kick-off for what is certain to be an electrically charged atmosphere at home to Toulouse.

The problem for the Irish is the shape of their key leaders after the Six Nations.

CHAMPIONS CUP QUARTER-FINALS

(Kick-offs, local time)

SATURDAY APRIL 1

QF 2: Leinster Rugby v Wasps, Aviva Stadium (3.15) BT Sport.QF 4: Munster Rugby v Toulouse, Thomond Park (5.45) Sky Sports.

SUNDAY APRIL 2

QF 3: Saracens v Glasgow Warriors, Allianz Park (1.0) Sky Sports.QF 1: ASM Clermont Auvergne v RC Toulon, Stade Marcel-Michelin (4.15) BT Sport.

CHAMPIONS CUP SEMI-FINALS

(Kick-offs, local time)

Semi-final 1: Winner of QF 1 (ASM Clermont Auvergne/RC Toulon) v Winner of QF 2 (Leinster/Wasps).

Semi-final 2: Winner of QF 3 (Saracens/ Glasgow Warriors) v QF 4 (Munster/Toulouse).

(Matches to be played on April 22/23).

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