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Rignrose: 'We are really disappointed'

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The record Leinster and Toulouse are fighting to reach first

Garry Ringrose says that making history is a huge motivation ahead of Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final against Toulouse on Sunday.

The two most successful teams in European Cup history go head to head at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

A place in this season’s final is the prize – and a chance to be crowned European champions for a record fifth time.

Leinster and Toulouse have each won four European titles, with Leinster looking to retain the trophy lifted with victory over Racing 92 in Bilbao 11 months ago.

“This match against Toulouse is really special,” Leinster and Ireland centre Ringrose told www.epcrugby.com.

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“The two teams want to make history by aiming for a fifth title. It will be a huge motivation for all the players.”

Leinster and Toulouse have already met twice in this season’s pool stage, claiming one victory each, and Ringrose added: “There is a lot of excitement around this match.

“We saw in the pool phase that Toulouse are a very difficult team to beat. They have a lot of experience in this competition and are dangerous in all positions.

“It will be a big challenge. At the beginning of the season we knew it would be difficult to retain our title, and we need to continuously try to improve.”

While Toulouse have charged on as runaway leaders of France’s Top 14, Leinster’s recent domestic form is poor, having drawn with Benetton and lost to Glasgow in the Guinness PRO14.

“We are really disappointed by our recent results,” Ringrose said.

“We encountered the same kind of situation last year, but the squad knew how to rally themselves for the end of the season.

“We aren’t worried about that, and above all we want to show our other face in the European Cup.”

Leinster’s hopes have been boosted by the return of fly-half and captain Johnny Sexton, who has recovered from a thigh injury, and Ringrose partners his international colleague Robbie Henshaw in midfield.

Toulouse, meanwhile, include prolific try-scoring wing Cheslin Kolbe, and their power is underlined by a replacements’ bench that features France Test backs Maxime Medard and Romain Ntamack.

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The record Leinster and Toulouse are fighting to reach first