Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Schmidt Nervous for HC Clash

Leinster coach, Joe Schmidt, has admitted that he is nervous ahead of his side’s trip to France to face his former club, Clermont, in the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup. The two union teams are impossible to seperate, according to the Heineken Cup odds.

Schmidt helped Clermont claim their first ever Top 14 title, in 2010, when he was the assistant coach at the Auvergne club. He has revealed that he has spoke to his former boss, Vern Cotter, ahead of the match.

The Kiwi coach led the Irish Province to Heineken Cup glory, but they now face an extremely difficult task, when they travel to Bordeaux to take on the French giants in the last four. The Kiwi coach admits that he is apprehensive going into the tie.

"I think he [Cotter] is as nervous as I am about it", he told the Irish Independent. "I think we can go there and play pretty well and still not get the result, and I think he feels the same way.

"That is the way it should be with a European semi-final. I think it is going to very, very tough and so does he", added Schmidt.

Both the teams have been in sparkling form, this season, with Leinster currently unbeaten in the Heineken Cup. The side are currently enjoying the lead in the Pro 12. Clermont are unbeaten in 42 home matches, and presently share the top spot in the Top 14.

Schmidt believes both sides' success has been down to the depth of their respective squads. The experienced coach believes it will not be the best team that will win on Sunday, but the best squad.

"It will be really interesting when the team comes out", Schmidt continued. "I don't think either of us believe that 15 players on either side will win it. It is certainly about the 23 players that are selected."

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