Vincent Clerc - the Heineken Cup's record try scorer - insists triple tournament winners Toulouse will be the underdogs when they clash with defending champions Leinster in the first of the 2010 semi-finals at Le Stadium on Saturday.
The Test wing, who has scored 30 tries in 52 Heineken Cup appearances, argues that the quality of Leinster's win over ASM Clermont Auvergne in the quarter-finals makes them favourites to book a place in the landmark 15th final being played at Stade de France on Saturday, 22 May. Leinster won 29-28 in Dublin while Toulouse stormed into the semi-finals with a 42-16 victory over Stade Français Paris at le Stadium.
"I don't think necessarily that we're the favourites going into the game," said Clerc.
"We produced a really good performance in the quarter-final, but Stade were not at their best and they've had their problems since the start of the season. So that performance doesn't make us favourites, in fact, having seen the Leinster-Clermont game, I thought it was played at a higher level.
"I have great respect for both Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy, and from what I've seen Leinster also have a very strong back row, but we won't be concentrating on one or two players because they're strong throughout.
"They have so much experience now, they know each other really well and you can see that when they make passes without even looking. They're a team with a lot of confidence.
"Clearly, O'Driscoll is a great player, he's their leader, and I've also been impressed by Jamie Heaslip as well. He's very strong going forward. Rob Kearney too is excellent under the high ball, but as I've said, they've plenty of good players.
"Last season's was Ireland's both in the RBS 6 Nations and in Europe, so let's hope that the performances this season by our national team will tilt the balance in the Heineken Cup towards France."
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