Back row forward Quinlan - one of eight Munster players chosen to tour south Africa next month with the 2009 British & Irish lions before a fractured ankle at the weekend forced scrum half Tomas O'Leary out of the trip and out of the semi-final - was man of the match last May as Munster beat Toulouse in a pulsating final in Cardiff. And although it is 2-0 to Munster in meetings this season, and they triumphed 30-6 at the same stage of the 2006 Heineken Cup tournament, Quinlan is quick to play down any suggestion of them carrying the favourites tag into the contest.
"We may have beaten them already this year but that will count for nothing on Saturday," said the 34-year-old Lion in waiting. "If anything it will give them impetus - that and the fact that they are playing in their home town and in front of a support base that has grown significantly in recent years.
"They will feel they owe us big time for those defeats this year and because last time we played them in the semi-finals we won so there is huge motivation for them and they'll work off that. "The scorelines in both matches this year do not reflect how little there is between the sides - the same applies to that Lansdowne Road semi-final - and there will never be
anything much between us so it's the little things on the day that will decide the outcome.
"And games between the Irish sides have that little extra edge, just like in Scotland when Edinburgh play the Warriors and in Wales when the Blues and Scarlets meet each other, but I suppose the Munster v Leinster games are the ones that attract the most attention because of the support each side has.
"It was very disappointing to lose Tomas. I am really gutted for the lad because I have been on the receiving end with injury and missed tours so I know exactly how he feels and to have been selected for the Lions and for this to happen is just awful. "As far as Leinster go, questions might have been asked of them in the past but I think they've shown this year that they have put all that behind them.
"That away quarter-final win in Harlequins was hugely impressive, their defence was massive and that's an area where they have made huge strides as Rocky Elsom complements Jamie (Heaslip) in the back row and both are really in the form of their life. "Everyone is aware of the damage their backs can do and, with Brian (O'Driscoll) playing probably the best rugby of his life, it gives them a very serious dimension.
"I think we are two very evenly matched sides, and, like I said, it will come down to the little things, to whoever gets the break at the right time. "It is a game I'm really looking forward to, there is huge talk throughout the country about it
and it is certainly going to be a great occasion. And, although there'll be nerves and plenty of tension for the players, if you don't enjoy this type of game you'll never enjoy anything."