Ulster will face the best club in Europe in quarter-final tie insists Dwayne Peel

Ulster will come up against the best club side in European rugby when they meet Leinster on Saturday admits backs coach Dwayne Peel.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:27 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:31 pm
Guinness Pro14 rugby Thomond Park Limerick 28/4/2018 Munster vs Ulster Ulsters Dwayne Peel Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

The defending champions - last year was the fourth success - are bidding to become the first side to be crowned Kings of Europe by lifting the trophy for a record fifth time.

Leinster’s dominance last season was reflected in also lifting the Guinness PRO14 title.

It will be the second time the Irish Provinces have met in the European Cup, previously Leinster defeated Ulster 42-14 in the 2012 final.

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That was also the last time Ulster won a quarter-final, when they famously beat Munster in Thomond Park.

They lost their previous last-eight appearances to Saracens, in 2013 and 2014, but were successful in 1999 when they were crowned champions of Europe.

While not playing in their fortress RDS in Dublin, Leinster remain odds-on favourites to win their eighth-from-nine quarter-finals when the Provinces meet at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening (5:45pm).

Backs coach Peel acknowledges the task facing Ulster, who qualified as the top-three runners-up across the five pools, but as one they are ready to meet.

“Leinster have undoubtedly been the best side in European Rugby for the past number of years so it is a great challenge for us and one we are really looking forward to, to be honest,” said Peel

“I think this competition has served us well this year we have played some good stuff, so it is about having confidence in our own game as well.

“We fully respect what we are coming up against, but we have to go down there excited and try and express ourselves.”

He added: “They are runaway leaders of the league (PRO14) at the minute and they are current European champions so there is no greater task for us in all honesty, that is the reality of it.

“There is no bigger task than to go where we are going on Saturday.

“For us that is not a daunting thing, it is an excitement for us. An Irish province as well is another add on to it. We are looking forward to it. It will be great for us.”