Gopperth looking forward to 'physical' game against Castres

Jimmy Gopperth says he was delighted to get his first Heineken Cup start last weekend and is looking forward to another chance to play in the competition.

Gopperth looking forward to 'physical' game against Castres

Jimmy Gopperth says he was delighted to get his first Heineken Cup start last weekend and is looking forward to another chance to play in the competition.

He’s in at 10 for the visit of French Top 14 Champions Castres to the RDS tomorrow after doing well against Ospreys last weekend and once again squeezes out Ian Madigan who has to settle for a place on the bench.

Gopperth said: "It was pretty good to get my first Heineken cap, it was one of those games that could have gone either way but I thought our defence was pretty sharp and it was just a good game to be involved with, the intensity was up and the boys really wanted to win and I think that desire came through in the end."

The summer signing, as expected, turned a lot of heads early in the season against Welsh sides the Scarlets and Ospreys.

A muted game against Glasgow was followed up by out half rival, Ian Madigan’s first start at 10 against Cardiff Blues.

Gopperth was kept away from the starting team against Munster, it seemed he was destined for the bench warmer role.

Arguably his saving grace was Madigan’s failure to have an impact in the inter-pro game in Limerick, leading to Matt O’Connor to call upon the Kiwi last weekend at the Ospreys.

He repaid his faith to the Leinster coach and was 100% from the tee.

He added: "Fitting in, I have really enjoyed myself here, the boys have been really accommodating and pretty easy to get along with so I have fitted in pretty well."

Leinster's defeat to Clermont last season ended a series of 12 consecutive victories over French clubs at home, a run that included a 33-3 win over Castres in 2008.

The visitors don’t have a great record in Ireland, in seven times they have made the trip here, they have lost all seven games, but Gopperth knows records go out the window in this tournament.

He said: "French sides are pretty unpredictable. Castres are going to come here and look to play and we just have to make sure our back door is tied up and look after the ball, playing how we want to play, we also know if we keep our defence straight we could be on the right track.

"Castres are big boys, they love to maul and they are physical around the pitch, even with their backs so if we aren’t as physical we’re going to get shown up pretty quickly."

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