Leinster focus is on Saracens rather than history

History will be in the air when Leinster face Saracens in tomorrow's Heineken Champions Cup final in Newcastle, but Leo Cullen won't feel the need to highlight the drive for five when he addresses his players before kick-off at St James' Park.

See off the English Premiership side and Leinster will sit alone at the summit of the continental game with a fifth European Cup success. It's a remarkable state of affairs, especially given the fact that it could be achieved in the space of just a single decade.

“Yeah, it’s something that is there in the background,” said the head coach, “but it’s not something that we’ve focused that much attention on really. You’ve got to get ready for the intensity of the game, because we’re playing a game against another team that has got to this stage, have been at this stage over the course of the last few seasons, have so much threat across 1-23.

“You know, even with a couple of guys dropping out they have so much quality to bring in. So it’s trying to understand what we’re actually going to face, what it’s going to be like for us, what type of plan do we need to have to try and unlock what their strengths are. So, it’s trying to put it all together.

Even if its in the back of people minds, everyone knows its a great reward but Saracens are in a very similar situation. So you try and focus more of our attention on actually the process of going about how you are going to perform well on the day. It’s going to be an amazing occasion, two very very good teams. It’s a great stadium here as well, so it’s all set really.

Leinster are the very definition of a 'big-game team'. This will be their sixth European decider – they also played a Challenge Cup decider in 2013 – and they have won every time. Saracens, though, are unquestionably the toughest of the sides they have met.

Mark McCall's men are chasing a third title in the last four seasons, they have rolled over every opponent on the way to Newcastle and they bring the added motivation of having lost to Leinster in last year's quarter-final.

"We've had two weeks to prepare for this now so we've had a good look at them,” said Jonathan Sexton. “You look at the teamsheet and they've got back a lot of the guys they were missing last year. They're going to make it tough for us but we're looking forward to the challenge.

We'll take confidence from coming through a tough pool, we'll take confidence from some of the challenges we've faced along the way this year.

"Ulster really put it up to us and Toulouse were in the in-form team and we looked after them really well in the semi-final.

“We'll take confidence from all of that and we'll take confidence from winning a trophy last year."

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