Planet Rugby

Ross demands big finish

26th March 2014 15:24

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Mike Ross

Determined: Mike Ross

Leinster and Ireland tighthead Mike Ross has his sights set on a barnstorming finish to the season with the Dublin province, starting with a win in Saturday's PRO12 derby with rivals Munster.

Ross was a key part of Ireland's Six Nations triumph, culminating on March 15th in Paris, and the prop will look to transfer his international form to the club scene.

With the Aviva showdown against Rob Penney's men looming, there is also the prospect of a Heineken Cup quarter-final on the horizon, not to mention the climax of the province's PRO12 campaign.

Ross states that, despite the rigors of Test rugby taking its toll, he still feels fresh heading into the season's end.

"I'm feeling pretty good. Generally you find in games it's the 60-80 minutes that really drains you but with myself and Marty (Moore) working away I think it kept us both in good nick," said Ross.

"It's good to be back in the fold. It's great to be back into a familiar team environment and I've a lot to play for this season."

Of the Munster matchup, the tighthead admitted the intensity heightened, with the rivalry stoked by the plethora of Irish caps on both sides.

And indeed, with the derby clash followed a week later by the Heineken Cup quarter-final in Toulon, Ross reckons it will offer Leinster the perfect preparation.

"You've generally got two full sets of internationals in either pack. It's pretty quick, it's very intense and everyone's climbing into each other a bit more because, everyone knows, you fight more with family than you do with strangers and we know each other pretty well at this stage," added Ross.

"I think both teams agree that if you want preparation for the quarter-final of the Heineken Cup, this is perfect. You get to see where you are very quickly.

"It helps (to beat Munster) but it can work against you. Munster beat us down in Thomond before the Heineken Cup at the start of the season and then they lost to Edinburgh, so you have to be careful how you use it. You take the good from it then you work on past that."

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