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Leinster vs Stade Français: David vs Goliath

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-05-17

France's Stade Français travel to Ireland Friday to face off against Leinster for the Amlin Challenge Cup final. FRANCE 24's Marc Owen takes a closer look at the two teams' star players.

David versus Goliath, Beauty and the Beast, Daniel in the Lion's Den - all of these could fittingly describe the upcoming match between Stade Français and Leinster in the Amlin Challenge Cup final on Friday.

Let's use the biblical allusion: Daniel in the Lion's den.

Stade Francais are overwhelmingly the underdogs, while Leinster are reigning European champions.

Brian O’Driscoll
(c) AFP

And the game is also being played at Leinster’s home ground – this is a quirk of the system where the venue for the final is selected months in advance.

So, the Parisian club – who were also-rans in their own domestic league this season – arrive in Dublin hoping that the “luck of the Irish” will rub off on them.

Yes, Leinster have some formidable players.

However, in a major blow, one-time Irish captain Brian O’Driscoll – known to Irish fans as BOD, who chant “in BOD We Trust” - one of the most feared competitors in world rugby, will miss the final on Friday due to a back injury.

Sergio Parisse
(C) AFP
However, Jonathan Sexton – number 10, goal kicker, just recruited by French club Racing Metro for next season on a monthly salary in excess of 50,000 euros - will appear.

Stade Francais have Sergio Parisse – arguably the best number 8 in world rugby. And a promising group of young players, like Jules Plisson at 10, and Hugo Bonneval at 15.

So the Amlin Challenge, or “Le Challenge Européen”: for the Irish club it could be a consolation prize, for the Parisians it could be the highlight of the season.

Date created : 2013-05-17

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