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Lions players told to be ‘in Leinster’s faces’ in URC clash

Making their one-on-one tackles and having a fast line speed will be key if the Lions want to upset host Leinster during their United Rugby Championship game at Dublin’s RDS Arena on Friday night.

The Lions defense has come under scrutiny in recent games, having conceded four tries or more in three of their last four games and a huge improvement is needed if they are to disrupt Leinster’s powerful attack.

“The quality of our equipment has to be better, we have to make sure our one-on-one tackles are perfect and slow the ball down,” explains Lions assistant coach Ricardo Loubscher.

“If you give a team a lightning fast ball because of a bad tackle defense, you will be under pressure. So from a defensive point of view, it’s important that we make sure we get off the line, slow that ball down and just be in their face the whole time.

“If you give them time and space on the ball, they make good decisions and stick with them. So we have to make sure we get off the line and get into good positions to make the tackles and force those mistakes and try to pressure them with our line speed.”

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Despite the poor form the visitors are in, they are still in good spirits against one of the table toppers and eager to measure themselves against the best.

The Lions know they have to be top notch if they want to have a chance and they have to be extremely disciplined during the game.

“There is a great atmosphere in the team and the boys are looking forward to Friday. It will be a big challenge for us, but we are looking forward to it,” said Loubscher.

“This is a young squad, so we want to measure where we are as a team. We haven’t had the best performances or results in recent weeks, but behind the scenes the guys and coaches are working hard to correct the mistakes.

“There’s a reason why Leinster is the number one team and at the top. They have a brilliant squad, they actually have two A-teams training together, so even without their internationals they are a very strong side.

“The most important thing for us is to be disciplined for 80 minutes. All the Irish teams are fit, you look at their pace of work in the park. They put a lot of pressure on you with their defense and their trapping.”

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