Healy celecrates after scoring against Clermont in 2010. ©INPHO/James Crombie
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Healy hoping to continue scoring form against 'same old faces' Clermont

The prop has scored three of his five Heineken Cup tries against the Top 14 club.

PROPS ARE NOT exactly renowned for their try-scoring prowess.

And yet Clermont Auvergne will be keeping a closer eye than usual over the Leinster number one when the most intense Heineken Cup rivalry of the past two years resumes this Sunday.

Cian Healy has managed to score three times in three games against the French giants.

He touched down twice when Clermont pitched up at the Aviva in December 2010 and provided the match-turning trail run to Rob Kearney’s midfield break in last season’s semi-final victory in Bordeaux.

However, nothing comes easy against the Top 14 club, certainly not in Stade Marcel Michelin, and Healy will be calling on all his recent experience for the latest instalment in the saga.

“Same old faces,” Healy said of the Clermont pack when interviewed by Leinster TV this week. “You half know what they’re about, (I’m) just hoping they don’t have any new tricks up their sleeve.”

Though Leinster have enjoyed the best of these skirmishes, winning three of the four meetings since 2010, the eastern province won’t need telling that they were within a dropped ball by the usually lethal Wesley Fofana from crashing out at the second last hurdle in April. At home, Clermont rarely bring anything less than their A game.

“Expect the exact same again,” Healy added ominously. “Their physicality is a big thing that they bring there and their defence is pretty hard. it’s going to be testing for us. We’re doing our work on what we have to bring to that, so hopefully we’re going to be alright.”

The weekend win over Zebre was a far cry from the intensity of the fixture against Munster which helped them build up to the opening rounds of European action. Never the less, the barnstorming prop feels the game provided a good bridge between the international window and the best European club rugby can offer.

“It’s great to get a couple of tries and get a good run out, get through a couple of our moves and, obviously, a positive edge with a win going into the next couple of weeks.”

“We’re pretty focused on Clermont and what we have to do there. It’s a big game – two big games – and what we have to bring there (to Stade Michelin) is going to be a big ask.”

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