A chance to make history. A chance for revenge.

Whoever comes out on top between Leinster and La Rochelle, it will be one for the history books.

If Leo Cullen's men gain revenge for last season's semi-final defeat it will be a record-equaling fifth Champions Cup title for the province, drawing them level with defending champions Toulouse.

If Ronan O'Gara's side defy the odds and knock the Leinster juggernaut off track, they will join the exclusive club of 12 that have lifted the trophy, for what would be their first major title.

Stade Velodrome in Marseille will finally get to host the final, having had to postpone their party two years in a row due to Covid-19, with the 67,394 adding rugby's biggest club game to its hosting of rugby and soccer World Cups.

RADIO

Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 will have live commentary from Stade Velodrome, with Michael Corcoran joined by James Downey in Marseille.

ONLINE

RTE.ie/sport will have a live blog of Leinster v La Rochelle, as well as match report, player ratings and reaction from Stade Velodrome.

TV

The game will be live on Virgin Media Two, as well as BT Sport.

WEATHER

It's set to be a scorching hot day in the south of France, with temperatures hitting 30C when the game kicks off (5.45pm local time). It could be a difficult day for kickers though, with strong winds expected at Stade Velodrome.


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Although the French side are in the final for the second year in a row and were impressive winners when the sides met a year ago, Leinster's form this season has gone to another level.

Were it not for their pool game against Montpellier being cancelled, Leinster would likely be closing in on Stade Francais's single season points record of 376. Going into the final they're just 36 points shy of that mark, having played seven as opposed to Stade's nine games.

Their scorched earth policy through this season's competition won't matter a jot if they lose the final though, having flattered to deceive in the knockout stages in 2020 and 2021.

Their last title came in 2018, a tense, tryless 15-12 win against Racing 92 in Bilbao, although they returned to the final a year later in Newcastle where they were no match for a great Saracens side who won their third title in four seasons.

The match-up is the fifth Ireland v France final pairing, with all four previous deciders being won by the Irish.

For Leinster, just five of their starting line-up were on the field in Bilbao when they lifted the trophy n 2018, while Johnny Sexton is the only member of tomorrow's team to have started in each of the five previous finals, with Cian Healy on the bench for the game.


Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jimmy O'Brien, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (capt), Jamison Gibson Park; Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Michael Ala'alatoa, Joe McCarthy, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne, Ciaran Frawley.

La Rochelle: Brice Dullin; Dillyn Leyds; Jérémy Sinzelle, Jonathan Danty, Raymond Rhule; Ihaia West, Thomas Berjon; Dany Priso, Pierre Bourgarit, Uini Atonio; Thomas Lavault, Will Skelton; Wiaan Liebenberg, Matthias Haddad, Grégory Alldritt (capt).

Replacements: Facundo Bosch, Reda Wardi, Joel Sclavi, Romain Sazy, Remi Bourdeau, Arthur Retiere, Levani Botia, Jules Favre.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)


Robbie Henshaw (Leinster centre): "We've done our learning and now it’s time we take action and make sure we don’t have to go through another year saying 'we have to learn more lessons'. They were top seeds in the competition, really big powerful team and really good game-style, we need to be ready for that physicality, their kicking game and threats around the breakdown.

"To get to the final two years in a row is not an easy thing to do so credit to them and we are going to be faced with a tough task

Ronan O'Gara (La Rochelle director of rugby): "I admire the way they [Leinster] play the game. I think they play the game in a fast but yet highly creative way. You can see that they're extremely well coached but they also have massive ambition.

"I think they’re challenging their players in all aspects of the game and trying to make them complete players, and they look very, very good but I can’t really think about that at the minute. It’s just that you would have admiration for the way they run [their organisation]."