Read what Leo Cullen had to say about five of the main talking points from his media briefing ahead of the Champions Cup match against Bath.

1. Giving youth a chance

“I think it’s just a great experience, hopefully, for the guys at home in the RDS. The guys that are going to be getting their first starts have worked incredibly hard and they deserve it as well. It’s been a really competitive environment over the last number of weeks. The reality is we can’t qualify so we’ve been trying to manage the squad as well. At home here in the RDS it’s a great chance for those guys. They’ve been working incredibly hard. It’s just rewards for some of the work they’ve put in.”

Peter Dooley

2. The last time we faced Bath

“We had a very close game against them over in The Rec before Christmas – it could’ve gone either way. We had a shot at goal, even though it’s quite far out, to win the game, or to edge ourselves slightly in front. They went up the other end and they got a penalty opportunity which they converted. There was not much separating the teams. I think it’ll be another close game tomorrow.”

3. Reacting well to European disappointment

“We were gutted after those two Toulon games. I look back on them all the time and there’s parts of the games if we just manage certain circumstances, a couple of different things go our way, it could be very, very different. We came up against a very good Toulon team who’ve won the competition in the last three years. But we weren’t very far away. It was important going back to the PRO12, trying to build on some of the performances and just gradually make improvements week-on-week. I thought a lot of the lads acquitted themselves really well in the game against Munster away on the 27th. It’s difficult that week because there’s so much going on with Christmas as well, so there’s always those distractions, the disappointment of losing those two Toulon games. Five days later we made quite a few changes for the game against Connacht here on New Year’s Day, under very difficult conditions as well, weather-wise. There was a national camp where we had a good number of players away, but the guys knuckled-down later in the week, and put in a very good performance against Ospreys.”

Bath v Leinster

4. Supporting younger players

“Some of the guys that’ll be starting in Europe for the first time, they’re young guys who are going to be the future of this club. We want to get behind them as best as we possibly can. We’ve tried to do everything we can for them this week. And we would urge the support to really get behind those guys as well because they’re young guys and hopefully they’ll get a lot of confidence from the experience, which would serve them well, not just this season, but into the future as well.”

Luke McGrath

5. The challenge posed by Bath

“A very strong, physical team. You get it when you play against English teams in particular. A huge focus in around the set piece. They pushed Toulon right to the wire last week – could’ve gone either way. We’ve known Bath pretty well even based off the quarter-final last year as well. A well-coached team – a lot of experience in their coaching group. They’ve invested heavily in a lot of top, young English talent. They’re definitely a club with very high ambitions. It’s going to be a great challenge for our guys.”

Leinster face Bath in the Champions Cup this Saturday at the RDS Arena. Purchase your tickets.

Leinster v Bath