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Ospreys invoke spirit of Borussia Dortmund as they face URC 'juggernaut'

By Simon Thomas
Ospreys' Jack Walsh during the EPCR Challenge Cup Quarter Final match between Gloucester Rugby and Ospreys at Kingsholm Stadium on April 12, 2024 in Gloucester, England.(Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Ospreys coach Toby Booth is calling on his team to draw inspiration from Borussia Dortmund as they take on the Leinster “juggernaut” in Dublin.

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“We have surprised a few people in how we’ve gone this year, so it shows it still can be done. That’s the beauty of sport,” said Booth.

“You saw this week in the Champions League. Borussia Dortmund didn’t have a chance, according to everybody, but they find themselves in the final.”

Giving his verdict on Leinster, he said: “They are the juggernaut, aren’t they?

“They have got 60 odd players of the same calibre. So it doesn’t matter who wears the shirt.

“They have got the luxury of making selection choices, where others don’t necessarily.

“That’s the benefit of having deep pockets and deep squads. There is no complaining or whinging about it. It is what it is.

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“You know Leinster are effectively a super power of the BKT URC and you know how difficult it is to match that. They have got a lot to play for and are a very, very good team.

“It’s very difficult to compete, but we have competed there before and we will compete there again and see where it takes us.”

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Booth’s team go into the weekend in tenth place in the URC table, but they are just four points off the play-offs, with Welsh derbies against the Dragons and Cardiff to follow their trip to the RDS.

“I know we have probably got to win two,” he said, looking at their three remaining fixtures.

“I think people are going to take points off each other. I am sure the sponsors are loving it because there is a lot on a lot of games.”

The Ospreys welcome back Wales flanker Jac Morgan after six months out following knee surgery, but fellow Test forward Adam Beard has picked up an ankle injury that will end his season and may well rule him out of the summer tour of Australia.

Openside Morgan is named among the replacements, while fellow World Cup captain Dewi Lake makes his first start since January at hooker after recovering from hamstring damage.

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Leinster show five changes from the side that beat Northampton 20-17 in the Champions Cup semi-final last weekend, with the likes of Josh van der Flier, Jamison Gibson-Park, Dan Sheehan and Jack Conan waiting in reserve on the bench.

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