Mike Catt is plotting to ambush treble champions Toulouse when London Irish meet the French giants at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
It is 10 years since Mike Catt lifted the Heineken Cup with 1998 underdogs Bath and a decade on and the England midfield general is plotting to ambush treble champions Toulouse when London Irish meet the French giants at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday.
And, while London Irish are in uncharted territory by qualifying for the knock-out stages for the first time, Catt believes they can use that to their advantage.
"We will probably be going into the game as the underdogs, but we are going to ensure we leave no stone unturned in trying to reach the Heineken Cup final," said Catt.
"We love the underdogs tag because we are used to it at London Irish. But we are at this stage on merit, we've worked hard to get here and we aim to give a good account of ourselves against a very talented Toulouse side.
"They have been at this stage so many times before and they have a wealth of experience so it's going to be really, really tough for us, but also very, very exciting. We beat a very good Perpignan side in the quarter-finals, our confidence is high and in the semi-finals of any competition you never know what is going to happen.
"And Twickenham will be very much like home for us and, if we can count on the same level of support that we had from our fans against Perpignan, we will feel very comfortable.
"The support in the quarter-final was very important to us and it would be great to have that '16th man' on our side against Toulouse.
"We have a very simple game plan which is based on playing in the right parts of the pitch and cutting down on the errors. That's something we have struggled with in the past, but we are cutting back now.
"We have a very good line-out and we find that any team who have to play against Bob Casey and Nick Kennedy struggle to get good ball. They disrupt a lot of teams and that is one of the massive bonuses in our game.
"But we know Toulouse are a very good set piece side. We must disrupt them up front because once their backs get going they are very difficult to stop."
And Exiles captain Casey is confident that the novelty of being in the last four for the first time will be an added spur to the London Irish players.
"There are very few players who reach the last four in this tournament and we just can't wait for it," he said.
"Our boys were really good in the quarter-final. There were very few nerves and we felt we got our game plan spot on and executed it extremely well. Perpignan are one of the top sides in France and we will take a lot of confidence from that win.
"We beat Toulouse at home when we met them at the Madejski and we know that they like to play the way we play. That is going to make for a firecracker of a match because every time we have played them there have been a lot of tries because both teams want to play an attacking game. I'm sure it is going to be the same again.
"Toulouse have a great set piece, a strong line-out, excellent back row and then great pace behind. They have Byron Kelleher and Jean-Baptiste Elissalde to run things at half back, Yannick Jauzion in the centre and a lethal back three.
"I hope this game will really put London Irish on the map. For the past two and a half years we have been building towards this and we believe we can go further if we can get our top team out onto the pitch."
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