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How Ben Youngs rates Leinster and the scale of the task awaiting Leicester

By Chris Jones
Leicester Tigers' Ben Youngs and George Ford before the Gallagher Premiership match at Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry. Picture date: Sunday January 9, 2022. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Leicester scrum-half Ben Youngs believes Leinster are the best club team in the world as he prepares to face the Irish province in Saturday’s eagerly anticipated Heineken Champions Cup quarter final at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

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While Youngs could be accused of talking up the threat posed by Leinster, he bases his verdict on a the vastly experienced Irish squad spearheaded by Jonny Sexton and containing key members of the Ireland squad who have beaten England in their last two Six Nations meetings.

Leicester are top of the Gallagher Premiership and secured a home semi-final play-off thanks to a thumping 56-26 win over Bristol with Youngs pulling the tactical strings with halfback partner George Ford and they will have key roles against the Sexton-Jamison Gibson-Park double act for the opposition on Saturday.

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Youngs said: “When you look at their star studded team, the amount of players who have won before in Europe with international experience and coming on the back of their Autumn and Six Nations performances. Sexton is a key man for them along with Gibson-Park and they are very settled and know each other really well. It is a great challenge for us and we get to see where we are at against the best club team in Europe if not the best in the world.

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“It is everything we want to do and we have come on loads this season but let’s see how far we really have come. We understand it is going to take something special from us as a group of players and then get excited about it. We are home and playing a team that has been formidable for years in Europe and you know you have to have a week to peak to get the victory.

“It is going to have that test match feel about and that kind of build up. It is the kind of week we want to be part of. I was a travelling reserve in the 2009 final when we played Leinster with Sexton’s drop goal and coming up short. Leinster are steeped in history in Europe an their squad as vast experience and we have to recognise it will take a monumental effort.”

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