Boss wary of Stade threat

Leinster scrum-half Isaac Boss has admitted that his side cannot afford to take anything for granted when they face Stade Francais in the final of the Amlin Challenge Cup (80 minutes – Leinster 1/6, draw 25/1, Stade 4/1).

Joe Schmidt’s men host the Top 14 team at their home ground of the RDS on Friday, with the hosts heading into the game as huge favourites, having won the Heineken Cup in three out of the last four seasons.

However, it will be somewhat unfamiliar territory for Leinster (4/7 RaboDirect Pro 12 Grand Final outright) playing in the final of Europe’s second-tier competition but it doesn’t mean they will be any less determined going into the clash.

Their opponents Stade may not be as star-studded as they have been in previous years, but they certainly don’t lack quality, most notably in their pack which is usually magnificently led by Italian number eight Sergio Parisse.

Following a disappointing campaign in their domestic competition, the tournament represents the French club’s last chance of silverware this season and Boss accepts his side will need to be at their best if they are to beat the Parisians.

“They (Stade) have got a very strong team,” the half-back said. “They haven’t done as well in the league as they should this season, but I think they have got a real focus on this Amlin tournament.

“They have won twice away from home, beating Perpignan and Bath, so they are definitely not scared of coming here. We have put everything into this Amlin competition because that is the way the team plays. We are gunning for Stade Francais.”

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