Munster are struggling to maintain their rivalry with Leinster, according to Donal Lenihan.

Traditionally, the two sides have been vying for the top dog spot among the Irish provinces with Munster's halcyon days in the 2000s forcing Leinster to up their game.

They went on to win four Champions Cup, double the tally of Munster, whose last European title came in 2008.

Leo Cullen’s side have won 10 of their last 11 meetings against Munster and their latest renewal was a one-sided Guinness Pro14 final last Saturday. 

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Munster attack coach Stephen Larkham maintained that: "Leinster are ahead of us at the moment, but we're fairly evenly matched." 

Lenihan, a former Munster and Ireland captain, reckons his former side are falling off the pace.

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"It was depressing. You felt it was now or never for Munster," he told the RTÉ Rugby podcast.

"They went fully locked and loaded. For them not to fire a shot was incredible.

"Leinster, for me, are the best team in Europe. I could see them winning the Champions Cup again this year.

"It’s like Man City and Man United. Man United aren't anywhere near Man City; Munster aren’t anywhere near Leinster.

"I don’t think one [win] in 11 [even] counts as sporadic.

"In terms of their coaching and management set-up, [Leinster] are streets ahead of where Munster are."

Former Ireland and Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman agreed with Lenihan, saying: "I’d hate to see Munster slipping away.

"We can have a bit of slagging and joking but realistically it’s not really a rivalry at the moment. It’s just not." 

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