Scotland skipper John Barclay is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Ireland’s Grand Slam stars on Saturday when Scarlets take on Leinster in the European Champions Cup.
The two teams meet in a mouth-watering semi-final in the competition at the RDS Arena in Dublin.
The match features many of the stars of both Wales and Ireland’s 2018 NatWest 6 Nations campaigns not long after they competed against each other in the Championship.
Rob Kearney, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Jonathan Sexton and Tadhg Furlong all line-up for Leinster, amongst others from Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning side.
And Scarlets’ large Wales contingent includes full-back Rhys Patchell, hooker Ken Owens and prop Rob Evans, with Barclay looking forward to the clash.
“We are playing the favourites for the whole competition who form the backbone of the Irish team,” Barclay commented.
“They are coming off the back of a Grand Slam and are favourites for a reason.
“It’s comfortably the biggest game I’ve been involved in since I’ve been at the Scarlets.
“The final of the PRO12 last season was fantastic, but this is Europe and we haven’t been in the semi-final for 11 years.
“It’s right up there.
“It’s not about me, but to win something in any sort of form would be awesome. I’ve loved my time down here and it’s great that in my last season we are playing big matches.
“Every game for the next six weeks is a big match. I am excited and hopefully we have six more weekends of rugby to come.”