Champions Cup finalists Leinster revolutionised by Stuart Lancaster's coaching, says Dan Leavy
By Press Association
Last Updated: 10/05/18 1:46pm
Dan Leavy says Stuart Lancaster has overseen a revolution at Leinster to place the Irish province on the brink of a record-equalling fourth European crown.
Racing 92 await in Saturday's Champions Cup final in Bilbao, live on Sky Sports Action, with the milestone set by fallen giants Toulouse in their sights.
Lancaster has proved a success since his arrival in Dublin two years ago to the point that he has been sought by Harlequins, who have parted company with their director of rugby John Kingston.
The 48-year-old coach has committed himself to his Irish project, however, and Leavy is in little doubt of the impact he has made.
"Stuart came in and revolutionised the way we train and the standards we expect of each other," Ireland flanker Leavy said.
"Stuart has been fantastic. We're blessed with the coaches we have here. Leo Cullen and Stuart are both really, really good.
"Stuart has brought a lot of insight into the English sides. How they work, how they tick. And Leo has created a culture at Leinster - he is Leinster rugby.
"Stuart came in and revolutionised training too through the standards he set. We train at a very high intensity now so when it comes to games they seem slower and more manageable.
"If you're working really hard, testing yourself mentally and physically non-stop at a really high pace, when it comes to the game you are more conditioned to it and you feel like you have a little bit more time."
Leinster have swept all before them this season, including an emphatic quarter-final victory over champions Saracens that was bettered a round later when they overwhelmed the Scarlets 38-16.
"We were pretty clinical in the semis, but I definitely think there's another gear in us and after the game we kind of knew ourselves," Leavy said.
"It was a weird kind of feeling in the changing room because we knew that while it was a big win and we were dominant, we also knew there's more in us and there's another gear.
"And we're going to have to find that gear against Racing because they are an incredible team with a lot of big names and big-game experience.
"Their strength in depth is pretty incredible and they're sitting second at the moment in the Top 14 with the best defence in the league."