Rugby Leinster 50-21 Northampton: Hosts book Champions Cup quarter-final berth with two rounds to spare

Rugby These items are glamorous.

Early in this rout, Ross Byrne kicked for touch and right in that corner of the stadium was a hoarding emblazoned with ‘Marseilles 2020’.

Leinster are a safe bet to be slugging out in the that final on May 22 in the Stade Vélodrome.

There were simply irresistible last night. Having stuck 43 points on Northampton last weekend, they accumulated the same total after 48 minutes of this utterly one-side affair. They are virtually assured of their place in the quarter finals with two rounds remaining and are looking a strong bet to go one better this season after that agonising loss to Saracens in the St James’ Park finale back in May.

Leinster booked a spot in the Champions Cup quarter-finals by beating Northampton

Northampton made their intentions about this meeting clear when they made eight changes to the side which suffered a pummelling at the hands of the same opponents at Franklin’s Gardens. There were some moments of quality from the likes of Dan Biggar, Taqele Naiyaravoro and their promising young England flanker Lewis Ludlum, but there were simply no match for the home side’s firepower.

Bulk suppliers to the national side, a large proportion of this Leinster squad will be on duty here again for Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Scotland on the first weekend of February.

Injury permitting, all the usual suspects such as Tadhg Furlong, James Ryan and Josh van der Flier will back on Ireland duty in seven weeks’ time. You can almost definitely add Byrne and Caelan Doris to that list as well.

Jack Conan’s fractured foot,

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