Former Ireland and Toulouse player Trevor Brennan believes that a new crop of young and fearless players has helped the French side rediscover what makes them special.

Toulouse were one of the dominant French and European teams in the 1990s and 2000s but lost their way slightly in recent years, with free-form attacking rugby being sacrificed for a more pragmatic style.

However there have been promising green shoots in recent times and they currently sit atop of Heineken Champions Cup Pool 1, two points ahead of Leinster who they face on Saturday.

Leinster will be looking for a win that will not only help them leapfrog the French side in the standings, but to gain a measure of revenge for the 28-27 defeat they suffered at the Stade Ernest Wallon in October.

A young Toulouse side was let off the leash that day and they have since gone 12 games unbeaten in all competitions.

Brennan credits that victory with injecting new life into Toulouse’s season and he believes that they are now getting back to playing the kind of rugby that suits them best.

Speaking on 2fm’s Game On, the former Ireland international said: "I think the last time they played Leinster in Toulouse was the restart of their season, it was the thing that really gave them a bit of self belief and kick-started them because I don’t anyone gave them a chance.

"Beating Leinster at home with a lot of young players that were coming through, the likes of [Julien] Marchand, [Dorian] Aldegheri, [Florian]and [Florian] Verhaeghe, and  these young guys just coming in and playing the game of their life, it was a fantastic game.

"I just think the fact that you have all these young guys coming through, these guys are pushing the senior players and they’re the young guys that are just playing off the cuff and playing what they see in front of them.

"Toulouse never had a gameplan. All the years I ever played with Toulouse, there was never a gameplan, you just played what you saw in front of you, it didn’t matter what number was on your jersey, you just ran the ball from everywhere.

Cheslin Kolbe

"They seem to have got that back this year. Young guys like Antoine Dupont, the scrum-half, 21-years-old and Cheslin Kolbe coming from South Africa who is a very similar player to Jordan Larmour.

"It’s just great to see these guys in Toulouse playing with heart and wanting to play for each other, I just think that’s what makes them very special this year."

Despite all the positivity around the Toulouse squad at the moment, Brennan believes that Leinster will have a slight edge over their opponents when they meet at the RDS, although he’s expecting another close encounter.

"You’d have to say Leinster because they’re at home and the home support. Obviously Leinster are a team that don’t get beaten too often either.

"Leinster with a full team out, no injuries, Johnny Sexton playing on form and Henshaw back, they’re key players.

"I think it’ll be a very, very close game but I’d have to give it to Leinster but only just."