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Leinster facing huge task as old rivals will be out to show French mauling only a blip: Leavy

By Jonathan Bradley

Leinster flanker Dan Leavy believes his side will see a different Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday evening (6.30pm).

The hosts have had a short week and are monitoring several fitness concerns after last Sunday's heavy defeat in La Rochelle, but Irish international Leavy foresees no European hangover.

"They'll definitely bounce back," said the 23-year-old, who made a comeback from injury against Glasgow in Leinster's win over the weekend.

"They are a serious outfit and they will be hurting from that game as well.

"You can suffer a heavy loss and stay down or you can bounce back.

"They will bounce back, I'm sure of that, so we have to be primed.

"They're hurt but they are a pretty potent Ulster team.

"We have to be ready for a seriously physical encounter," he added.

"As I said, it's up to us to go up there and be disciplined and not give them much momentum, keep the pressure on and keep ourselves in the game as long as possible."

The last eight encounters between Ulster and Leinster have been won by the home side, with Leo Cullen's men not having tasted victory in Belfast since a 2014 encounter when the hosts had prop Tom Court sent off.

"They are the same as most teams at home," Leavy added.

"You never want to get beaten in your own backyard so they have the crowd behind them.

"They will be very fired up, especially after the game at the weekend and, as I said, we have to go up and make sure we are ready for the physical battle."

Like plenty of those he will be lining up against come the weekend, Leavy will be an interested observer when the Ireland squad, which is expected to be released today, is named for the November internationals.

The Dubliner has won four caps in the last three international windows, two on the summer tour to USA and Japan.

"I kind of take it game by game and hope for a big performance up in Ulster," he said of next month's fixtures against South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

"We (Leinster) have Glasgow after that and if I'm in the November squad then happy days," he added.

"Then I'll try and put my hand up for a green jersey but I'm not really looking too much further than that.

"The decision isn't up to me, all I can do is keep trucking and try and put in some big performances.

"I got about three weeks training under Joe's regime (last summer). He drives the standard so high.

"It was intense but I feel I learned a lot and I know what he is looking for in terms of my own play and what he wants to see me doing.

"I don't know if there is a 'Joe player' but what Joe likes is someone that, if he is given a job, will complete his job and do what serves the team best. Joe makes it very clear before each game what he wants to see from you.

"If you deliver he will be happy with you and if you go off doing your own thing then obviously he's not going to be too pleased.

"We just had little conversations where he said 'you could be able to do this a little bit better'," he said.

"It's all about taking that on board and trying to implement it as best as possible."

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