Jack Conan hopes Leinster can learn some lessons from his Lions experience when it comes to the crunch this season.
The Ireland number eight was somewhat of an outsider for selection for Warren Gatland's side’s trip to South African in the summer but ended up starting all three Tests.
The caps earned in the 2-1 series loss against the Springboks brought the former St Gerard’s student’s tally to 23 international appearances.
While Leinster, who face Glasgow this evening in Scoutstoun, have cruised to four URC titles in a row since 2018, that was also the year of their last Champions Cup success, with final and semi-final losses since then to the likes of Saracens and La Rochelle largely down to losing the battle up front.
"In the biggest games it’s the smallest of margins," Conan replied when asked what lesson he could bring back from the South Africa tour to Leinster,
"Physicality-wise, you need to set your stall out early.
"It’s probably an area that we’ve lacked in the past and fallen short in some of the bigger games so if you are not physically ready it’s going to be a tough day.
"The preparation and the training that we did on tour and throughout the summer prepped us really well for hard physical games.
"Probably not as much running rugby as we’d expect to see in Europe or the URC, but it’s top international rugby where every moment is pivotal and critical. You need to be physically ready for it."
Conan and his fellow forwards accounted for all of Leinster's seven tries last weekend against Scarlets, a rare feat that brought a smile to the back row's face.
"We had a good bit of chat about it in the team reviews so our tails are high," the 29-year-old told RTÉ Sport.
"The set-piece was somewhere we really wanted to dominate and be better than we had. It’s a nice building block going into the [Glasgow match].
"We set ourselves targets of maul tries or pick and go tries. We don’t put a number on it but we have certain moves for certain areas of the pitch that we want to execute. It’s vindication of all the hard work."
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