19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
Ahead of Leinster's Heineken Cup quarter-final assault on Toulouse, captain Brian O'Driscoll has admitted that Saturday's game offers "a really big opportunity" for his side.
On the face of it, Leinster, having not made it to the semi-finals since 2003, are up against it, being away from home against the three-time Heineken Cup champions and without a competitive fixture since March 5.
But, O'Driscoll, buoyed by Ireland's flying finish to the RBS 6 Nations, feels his men can compete with any of the sides left in the competition.
He said: "It's a game I've been thoroughly looking forward to. Thankfully, we (the Ireland players) had a few days off last week when we were able to rest the minds and bodies. But when we came in last Thursday, you could really sense a great level of anticipation throughout the whole squad.
"There's just a sense that everyone is really hungry for this game and it's really a big opportunity for us. A lot of people have written us off so we're determined to go out and play the way we can.
"We want to make ourselves difficult to beat and I think that's the key - we know that if we play to the level that we're capable of, we'll be a tough side to beat on any given day."
O'Driscoll is well aware of the strength of the Toulouse side, which will include a host of French internationals and the powerful presence of former Leinster and Ireland forward Trevor Brennan, whose pub "De Danu" on rue du Pont-Guilhemery is set to do a roaring trade over the weekend.
The Leinster centre added: "We all know how good Toulouse are, but I certainly don't think we're far behind them. We've got some very skilful players, and we're a very fit side to boot.
"At times, we've played a great brand of rugby this year - I think people have enjoyed watching us. But, in saying that, you can't just focus solely on one style. You've got to have the ability to mix up your game. Different things are required to win different games.
"We'll go out there and hopefully entertain, but, at the same time, I'd gladly see us play percentage rugby and take a win by the smallest of margins."