Ellis Genge respects Leinster’s European pedigree but has warned the Heineken Champions Cup favourites that Leicester refuse to be cast as “plucky losers” heading into Saturday’s quarter-final.
The leaders of the Gallagher Premiership and United Rugby Championship clash at Mattioli Woods Welford Road in their fifth meeting with the series locked at 2-2, including the 2009 final when Leicester were edged 19-16 at Murrayfield.
Only Toulouse have lifted more European crowns than Leinster, who are at full strength after restoring James Ryan to the second row following his recovery from the concussion sustained for Ireland against England in March.
But Genge insists his resurgent Tigers are ready to defend a ground that was once a fortress in domestic and continental action.
“Leinster as a franchise are brilliant. They’ve done really well and have won eight major trophies in the last decade,” Genge said.
“They’re huge competitors, and they’re used to these types of games. Our squad isn’t at the moment, and they’ve got so much depth.
“One thing you know about the Irish boys is they have got a lot of dog in them, so they will be coming for that battle. We relish opportunities like that.
“It’s a real tough game for us, but we are not plucky losers, we’re not that type of team. If we lose it will be because we are supposed to lose, and we didn’t fight hard enough, so it will all be on us.
“I’m not going to let people build the manifestation of Leinster being the European giants that they are. They have got to come to our backyard so… It is our gaff, it’s not the Aviva.
“If we do what we have done all year then we’re going to be all right. We’re happy with how we’re progressing, but I don’t think we’ve peaked yet. There’s a lot more to come from us on and off the field.”