Three-time European champion Brian O’Driscoll believes enjoying on the Stade Marcel-Deflandre can massively profit La Rochelle of their Heineken Champions Cup semi-final in opposition to Leinster Rugby this weekend.
His previous aspect journey to France on Sunday, and can play at an area the place La Rochelle have been powerful to beat, with O’Driscoll eager to level out the psychological benefit of enjoying at residence, even with no followers in attendance.
“Residence benefit is a large, large factor,” O’Driscoll – who received the European Cup with Leinster in 2009, 2011 and 2012 – informed Off The Ball’s Monday Night time Rugby.
“It’s clearly far more helpful whenever you’ve acquired your individual crowd there and your individual supporters.
“However the familiarity of all of the issues main as much as enjoying at residence versus being away, it does sway efficiency in your aspect and that’s the truth of it.
“It’s human instincts that we favor enjoying in locations that we’re aware of. On the idea of that, it’s going to be a really, very troublesome recreation for each groups.”
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O’Driscoll reiterated the power of Leinster’s aspect, however highlighted that La Rochelle have a variety of expertise and expertise throughout a number of positions.
“[There’s] the variability and variety to their recreation as properly, whether or not it’s their mauling or nice counter-attack,” he identified.
“[They also have] guys with a lot of expertise at eight, 9, ten and [Brice] Dulin at 15, and Will Skelton bashing individuals up entrance.”
O’Driscoll warned that Leinster will have to be on prime kind if they’re to win and attain the ultimate for the sixth time of their historical past, however touted the Irish province as slim favourites.
“There are such a lot of actually nice parts to this La Rochelle staff that Leinster will certainly must prove one in every of their higher performances of the season to get the higher of them,” he acknowledged.
“On the idea of expertise at this stage of competitors, I believe it’s simply Leinster [as] favourites, however I don’t assume there’s an enormous quantity in it.”