Leinster clash is about the

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Leinster clash is about the "here and now" | Exeter's Rob Baxter


Exeter's director of rugby Rob Baxter insists history will count for little when his side host Leinster in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals. 

The defending champions will welcome the four-in-a-row PRO14 champions and four-time European title winners to Sandy Park for a heavyweight last-eight clash on Saturday evening.

Leinster, who were awarded a walkover against Toulon last week, are playing in the quarter-finals for the 16th time but Baxter says his side have no reason to feel intimidated by the Blues' European history.

“It’s a very significant challenge, but is it any bigger than last season?” he said when asked about the task of facing Leo Cullen's team.

“You’ve got to get perspective and move on from the history of seven, eight, nine or 10 years ago.

“Leinster were the first team we played in the Heineken Cup in 2012 and there was a fair bit of underestimation from them. They sneaked through 9-6 over in Ireland.

“Since then we’ve met a few times and they’ve come out on top, but we’ve moved on to a degree. I’m not saying we’re meeting on a level playing field, but it’s far more level than to talk about past history too much.

“If we talked about history then Exeter would never be near the final of the Premiership or a European Cup. We’ve now won both.

“So it’s about the here and now and the here and now is that we have an expectation to do well.”

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