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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 18 May 2021
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VIDEO: Provincial captains gearing up for Heineken Cup campaigns

Munster’s Doug Howlett declared that Leinster would be ‘watched closely be all the teams’.

THE FOUR PROVINCIAL captains were blessed with a rain-free morning on Tuesday as they posed with the Heineken Cup and strode manfully across the Aviva Stadium pitch.

Doug Howlett, the new Munster captain, took questions on European title prospects that were usually the reserve of Paul O’Connell.

Gavin Duffy, who took over the captaincy at Connacht during the summer, said his side ‘learned a hell of a lot’ from their first season in Europe’s elite rugby competition.

Meanwhile, Leo Cullen and Johann Muller, who faced each other in the final at Twickenham last year, spoke of their desire to get there again next May.

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Ulster are the first Irish side in Heineken Cup action, on Friday, 12 October, with Munster, Connacht and Leinster all playing on the Saturday.

The final will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 18 May 2013.

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Patrick McCarry

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