Frédéric Michalak in action for Toulon against Wasps in the quarter-final of the European Champions Cup. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Just watch his body language, just watch him walking back. This is like your granddad playing outhalf . . . I can’t believe France don’t have a better(...)

Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip directs play during their European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final victory over Bath at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

LEINSTER Rob Kearney Age: 29 Height: 1.85m/6ft 1in Weight: 95kg/14st 13lb Delon Armitage provides a similar aerial threat to Israel Fol(...)

Seán Cronin and Rob Kearney raise their arms in truumph as Leinster overcome Clermont 19-15 in the Heineken Cup semi-final in 2012. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

If there has been one outstanding high point in Leinster’s storied European Cup history, it is probably their epic semi-final win over Clermont in Bor(...)

Mathieu Bastareaud of Toulon runs with the ball against Leinster during the European Cup quarter-final match at Felix Mayol Stadium last year. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

To put the scale of the task facing Leinster into perspective, never have they been handed a more difficult knockout game in Europe’s blue riband. Put(...)

Wayne Barnes will be the man in the middle for Leinster’s European Champions Cup semi-final against Toulon on Sunday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Played 6, won 3, drawn 0, lost 3.Leinster results when Wayne Barnes has refereed their matches since they won their first Heineken Cup in 2009. 2009-(...)

Sean O’Brien returns to the Leinster starting line-up for Sunday’s Champions Cup semi-final against Toulon. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster’s second row options have been further depleted by injury to Tom Denton. The Englishman’s bicep strain sees his place on the bench for Sun(...)

 Toulon’s  Mathieu Bastareaud:  “Time and again the Leinster midfield will get him down but if they miss him just once it will be a certain try for Toulon.” Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP.

‘Wherever you go, that’s where you are’ and I’m not referring to Stade Vélodrome, Marseille where I’ll be on Sunday but to the mental journey Leinster(...)

Jamie Heaslip of Leinster is tackled by Florian Fresia and Michael Classens of Toulon in last year’s European Cup quarter-final at Stade Mayol. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

As both Wasps and Grenoble have shown in recent weeks, to take on Toulon, well, you have to take them on. Wasps had them gasping out wide after taking(...)

Leinster secondrow Kane Douglas has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a back injury. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster secondrow Kane Douglas won’t play again this season after being diagnosed with a back problem that will require surgery. The Australian inter(...)

From left, Glasgow Warriors’ Tommy Seymour, Munster’s Donncha O’Callaghan, Leinster’s Kevin McLaughlin, holding the Pro12 trophy, Ospreys’ Tyler Ardron and Ulster’s Rory Best  at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The gathering at the Kingspan Stadium was about promoting the Guinness Pro12’s run-in and the Belfast final, but there was no avoiding the European Ch(...)