|Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 20 May Kick-off: 16:45 BST|
|Coverage: Radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, stay textual content commentary and response on BBC Sport web site & app|
Jamison Gibson-Park says final 12 months’s dramatic Heineken Champions Cup closing defeat by La Rochelle has fuelled Leinster’s redemption bid as they put together to satisfy the French staff once more.
Leinster face Ronan O’Gara’s aspect within the Dublin decider, 12 months on from an agonising 24-21 loss in Marseille.
The Irish province are hoping to equal Toulouse’s haul of 5 Champions Cup titles with victory on Saturday.
Gibson-Park stated the “great teams” use defeats to “spur” themselves on.
“There’s probably no doubt that it has [fuelled] us in getting to this point,” stated the Ireland scrum-half.
“When you work with a collective group to try and get somewhere and you fall at the last hurdle, it’s hard, especially when it’s like that, a few minutes from the end of the game.”
Leinster heading for his or her fifth Champions Cup title at Stade Velodrome final 12 months earlier than alternative scrum-half Arthur Retiere’s last-gasp strive snatched victory for La Rochelle.
“It’s tough moments in the dressing room and on the pitch afterwards,” added Gibson-Park, a Champions Cup winner with Leinster in 2018.
“You live for those moments where you get to lift trophies and you enjoy those moments in the dressing room with your brothers.
“But the sombre emotions after a defeat keep on with you as properly.”
Having travelled to the south of France for last year’s showpiece, Leinster will have home advantage on Saturday at a sold-out Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Leinster’s home ground is the RDS Arena but they showed how devastating they can be on Lansdowne Road with an emphatic 41-22 victory over Toulouse within the semi-final.
“Last 12 months was clearly robust, having to go away to France and play a French staff,” stated 31-year-old Gibson-Park.
“The La Rochelle followers had been out in drive that day, like they all the time are, so I’m positive there can be a number of of them that present as much as the Aviva Stadium little doubt.
“It was a pretty big carrot for us at the start of the year, the fact it was going to be here in the Aviva.
“We’re trying ahead to it, we have got the prospect to be in entrance of our family and friends and hopefully a number of house supporters.”
Leinster have ‘adjusted to life with out Sexton’
If Leinster are to add an elusive fifth star to their jersey, they must do so without captain Johnny Sexton, who is sidelined with the groin injury he sustained in Ireland’s Grand Slam-clinching Six Nations win over England.
With Sexton out, Ross Byrne is expected to start at fly-half and Gibson-Park believes the 28-year-old has done a “fairly good job” at filling in for the 2018 World Rugby player of the year.
“Ross has performed all of our video games this 12 months within the Champions Cup so I suppose we have adjusted somewhat bit to life with out him (Sexton),” stated Gibson-Park.
“He’s been such an enormous a part of Leinster over the past nonetheless lengthy it’s and he is an unbelievable participant so we miss him massively.
“But I think Ross has done a pretty good job up until this point.”
Leinster can even be with out injured again row Will Connors however Leo Cullen’s aspect have been boosted by the return to health of Ireland wing James Lowe and flanker Scott Penny.
Connors sustained a head harm throughout Saturday’s URC semi-final defeat by Munster.