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Williams: Toulon not sidetracked
17 Apr 2015 15:03
World Cup winner Ali Williams insists Toulon are not being distracted by the possibility of making European rugby history this season.
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Victory over Leinster in Marseille on Sunday (3.15pm) would leave Toulon one win away from completing a European title hat-trick.
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During 19 seasons of the Heineken Cup, which has been succeeded this season by the European Champions Cup, no team have been crowned champions three years in succession.
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Leicester won two on the bounce in 2001 and 2002, and Leinster did it in 2011 and 2012, but a treble eluded both of them.
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Toulon, though, are edging closer towards achieving that feat, having retained European silverware by defeating Saracens in last season's final 12 months after seeing off fellow French heavyweights Clermont Auvergne at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.
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If the form guide holds true this weekend, then Toulon and Clermont should book a European final rematch at Twickenham on 2 May, but ex-New Zealand All Blacks lock Williams is adamant that such an enticing possibility is currently not being considered.
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"We do believe that every time we go on to the field that we are going to win," he said.
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"But we know that Leinster are a good outfit - you just have to look at their results in the past to see that.
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"Leinster have a good pack - they have that physicality and are well-organised and drilled. They are a team that likes to attack and they don't have any weaknesses, really.
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"They will have learned from our game in the quarter-final last year (Toulon won 29-14) and will know more about how we play.
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"It won't be a lot different from when we last met. It's going to be 15 people on either side fighting it out and battling to make inches.
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"The three-in-a-row thing in Europe hasn't come to the front of our brains - that is for the people on the outside who don't have the ability to have an impact on the result on the field.
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"We are just doing the old rugby thing of taking one game at a time.
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"It was a bonus for me coming over to Europe to play, and I consider myself very lucky to be playing in a team with so many great players and characters.
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"We all have this respect for each other, and it just seems to work.
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"Once you have that competitive streak in your blood, you never lose it. We are a group of guys who love having fun and who love winning."
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