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Robbie Henshaw taking nothing for granted as Leinster close in on last eight

Leinster will become the first team through to this season's European Champions Cup quarter-finals if they beat Montpellier in Dublin on Friday.

The three-time European champions are five points clear of their French opponents with two group games left, having taken charge in a pool that also includes Northampton and Castres.

And should Leinster reach the last eight, it would be in stark contrast to last season's European campaign when they bowed out following five defeats from six matches.

Leinster and Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw said: "We know we are going to have our work cut out and it's going to be a tough game. We will need to be 100 per cent switched on.

"Montpellier are a massive side and have a lot of skill across the board.

"Their pack is probably the biggest we've played against this year, so we need to be strong in defence, razor-sharp in attack and keep the ball moving around the pitch.

"It's going to be a physical game, but we need to control it. Obviously, that starts with our physicality in defence and putting in some big shots."

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen has made five changes from the side that beat Guinness PRO12 strugglers Zebre last time out, including starts for full-back Isa Nacewa, props Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong, plus number eight Jamie Heaslip.

In the European Challenge Cup on Friday, Pool Four leaders Bath can edge closer to the knockout phase by beating West Country neighbours Bristol at Ashton Gate.

Bath are currently level on points with Cardiff Blues at the group summit, but Bristol also remain in quarter-final contention and have been buoyed by vastly-improved form and results since head coach Mark Tainton took overall charge.

Bath hand a first start to centre Robbie Fruean, who lines up alongside England international Jonathan Joseph in midfield, while Joseph's Test team-mates George Ford and Anthony Watson also feature, but forward Matt Garvey faces a possible lengthy lay-off after suffering a neck injury during the Aviva Premiership defeat at Newcastle last week.

"We are really looking forward to getting out there tomorrow night," Bath rugby director Todd Blackadder said.

"I've quickly learnt that derbies between Bath and Bristol are always huge games, so we know how much this one means to our supporters.

"Unfortunately, Matt Garvey picked up a neck injury at the end of the game against Newcastle.

"He needs to have surgery on it, so he will be out of action for a while, but he is in great hands with our medical team here, and we all wish him a speedy recovery."

Bristol, meanwhile, welcome back centre Tusi Pisi following a two-week ban, and Tainton said: "We are in a decent run of form at the moment, so it's important we kick on and continue that momentum with a positive performance."

Elsewhere in the Challenge Cup on Friday, Newcastle will go second in Pool Two if they defeat French hosts Grenoble, while Newport Gwent Dragons can keep themselves firmly in the Pool Three mix by claiming victory over Rodney Parade visitors Enisei-STM.

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