Leinster may have achieved absolute dominance in the Guinness Pro14 but Saturday's clash against the team who beat them in last season's Heineken Champions Cup final makes for an unpredictable quarter-final.

Saracens have been impacted by events on and off the field since the sides last met but for Donal Lenihan, they remain dangerous opponents for Leo Cullen's squad.

"They've had no match that has mattered really since last March or April," Lenihan said of Saracens on the RTÉ Rugby Podcast.

"That carrot of playing Leinster in a quarter-final has actually sustained them over the lockdown, over the past number of months.

"We know they're not the Saracens team that beat Leinster last year. On my reckoning, with Owen Farrell suspended, they'll be missing 10 players who were involved in the matchday 23 in the final in Newcastle.

"Yet they still have a hardcore of players who are capable of beating Leinster."

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The fact that Saracens have been forcibly relegated from the Premiership and will not be competing for top honours in the short-term beyond this season is another factor Lenihan feels will give the English side extra impetus

"Emotionally, I think there's a movement behind them because it is the end of this Saracens as they've known it," he said.

"A lot of the players have left either permanently or on loan. You've got people like Brad Barritt who captained them through so much success over the years. Europe is the only thing left for him.

"So I think they'll have an emotional energy going into this game that will certainly make it far more competitive than anything Leinster have faced over the last 12 months since that final in Newcastle."

In addition, they still have "sufficient quality" in their ranks in the shape of Maro Itoje and the Vunipola brothers among many others, he continued.

"They still have sufficient quality that I think they will ask questions of Leinster," he added.

"That said, the loss of Farrell is huge. Alex Goode, we know as a full-back by nature. He played four Premiership games in 2014 at out-half, three in 2015 and last year I think he played two.

"We know he's a brilliant player but you're asking somebody to run a show at 10 at the top level. That is a massive ask but that said, I think they'll give Leinster a serious game."

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Follow the Champions Cup quarter-final between Leinster and Saracens (3pm Saturday) with our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1.