Leinster prop Tadhg Furlong looks ahead to this weekend’s game against Bath in the Champions Cup and discusses Leinster’s improving performances over the last two months.

Despite Leinster’s chances of quarter-final qualification in the Champions Cup being at an end, Tadhg Furlong still sees plenty to play for in this weekend’s game against Bath in the RDS Arena. 

The chance to chalk up a win against Bath after the defeat in November aside, Furlong says the opportunity to win in Europe in front of a home crowd and the competitive nature of the squad will be all the motivation the team will need.

“We’re playing in front of a home crowd at the RDS, which is the last time for the year (in European competition), and we’re looking to give the fans something to cheer about,” says the 23-year-old prop.

“There’s personal pride as well. We want to win; no one goes out to lose a game. We’re very much looking forward to it and looking forward to the challenge.”

Tadhg Furlong

Since the defeat to Bath, Furlong started the interpro wins at home to Ulster and away to Munster, and in last weekend’s victory over Ospreys.

Taking into account the games he played, and the improvement in performances against Toulon, Furlong sees the squad building well as the season goes on.

“Against Toulon home and away we were very close to winning those games, those small margins probably cost us a bit in the end. And even coming through Ulster, Munster, and then Ospreys at the weekend, I think we’re building, building, building. It’s very, very enjoyable to play rugby for Leinster at the minute.”

Tadhg Furlong

The squad may be playing for pride and the opportunity to reward supporters that have turned out in such great numbers for Leinster’s European games so far, home and away, but the long-term goal of finishing as high in the Guinness PRO12 table as possible is there to be fought for. As well as potential selection for the Ireland 6 Nations squad.

For now, though, Furlong says the team have enough to be focused on with Bath visiting the RDS Arena on Saturday.

“The 6 Nations is just only around the corner, but for the time-being there’s enough to worry about with Leinster selection and a big push for competition for places, particularly in the front row, back row, the pack. I think everyone has a very narrow focus towards the Bath game this weekend.

“The PRO12 is the main goal because we’ve something to play for still, but, even saying that, everyone wants to win this weekend.”

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Leinster v Bath