Given his assured performances for Ireland and Leinster, you would be forgiven for assuming that Hugo Keenan has more than just three European appearances to his name.  

Leo Cullen's side get the round-of-16 fixtures off to an eye-catching start, when the two teams that since 2009 have won the competition seven times, clash at the RDS. 

For Keenan it is all relatively new terrain.

Just over six months ago, he had yet to taste Champions Cup action – that came in the quarter-final defeat to Saracens – never mind represent his country. 

Now he has made the blue and green 15 jerseys his own, picking up his first piece of silverware at the weekend in the Guinness Pro14 final victory over Munster

Is he concerned about fatigue given the games have come thick and fast since the rescheduling of games at the end of last season? 

"You just want to ride that wave," he told RTÉ Sport. "It’s fairly new to me at this stage. There are a few bumps and bruises, but you just want to keep on going, it’s big game after big game.

"It’s about enjoying the moment. 

"I have been taking it game-by-game. When I got my [Ireland] debut, it was my first taste of it. I got a bit of luck to get there, but it’s about taking that chance and staying in the team. 

"It’s been enjoyable." 

Toulon have not been quite the force that saw them romp to three successive European titles in the previous decade, the last of which came in 2015.

The following season was the last time the teams crossed paths, with Toulon winning the back-to-back festive fixtures. 

The 24-year-old has never come up against Toulon before but, with the likes of Baptiste Serin, Charles Ollivon, Sergio Parisse (pictured above) and Eben Etzebeth in their ranks, he is expecting a serious challenge from the visitors. 

He said: "They are such a powerhouse in European rugby. They are a serious side, so dangerous in attack and they always have that power element. They have the x-factor players. It poses a big challenge for us." 

It will be a taller challenge, he concedes, if Leinster don’t offer a more ruthless attacking edge than was on display against Munster at the weekend. While the holders ran out comfortable winners, a number of try-scoring opportunities were spurned. 


Moods swing ahead of Munster and Leinster Euro tasks


Such profligacy at the RDS this week night could spell trouble. 

"We weren’t clinical," he added. 

"If we are not [clinical] this Friday, we could be punished. But it was a good performance and we are building nicely." 

Follow Leinster v Toulon (5.30pm, Friday) and Munster v Toulouse (3pm, Saturday) in Champions Cup action via our live blogs on RTE.ie and the RTÉ News app or listen live on RTÉ 2fm's Game On and RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.