Leinster targeting four wins f...

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Leinster targeting four wins from four in Heineken Champions Cup pool stage


Leinster senior-coach Stuart Lancaster thinks they may have to win all four pool games in order to progress to the quarter-finals of this year's Heineken Champions Cup. 

The Guinness PRO14 winners will face Montpellier and Northampton home and away in Pool A of the new-look competition later this year.

"It’s a new format, irrespective of who you draw the important thing for any team and Leinster included is that you have got to set out to win all four games really to give yourself the best possible chance,” Lancaster told reporters on an online conference call following the draw.

"We've played both teams recently, certainly over the last couple of years during my time here. Montpellier have changed coaching team recently, but they still have a formidable squad. We know Northampton well. No draw is easy and we don't think ours is either.

"One of the challenges is, irrespective of the draw, the first game is the week after the final international game and so from a Leinster point of view we'll have this group of 15-20 players coming back in from international rugby and the next game they play is a European game.

"We're excited about the format but there's not much room for error," the former England coach added.

"If you get to the quarter-finals, that's home and away with an aggregate score and that's a fascinating twist to the competition.

"Win your home games, win one away game minimum will be the prerequisite if you want to come in the top four in your pool, to guarantee that quarter-final.

“Ideally four from four, but even then it doesn't guarantee a home quarter-final like it used to. It guarantees you a home one, but you'll have to go away then."

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