Heineken Cup: Jamie Heaslip hungry for more as Leinster bid for record crown
Last Updated: October 7, 2013 11:10am
Leinster No 8 Jamie Heaslip is relishing the return of the Heineken Cup as the Irish region bid to lift the European crown for a record-equalling fourth time.
Leinster, who have lifted the trophy on three occasions since 2008, open their 2013/14 campaign with a trip to Wales to face the Ospreys on Saturday in a game shown live on Sky Sports 2 HD.
Heineken Cup excites Jamie Heaslip
Heaslip has played the full 80 minutes in all three of Leinster's Heineken Cup final victories and admits the unique atmosphere is something to savour.
Despite the lingering feuds over the future of the European competition, the British and Irish Lions forward expects the same "tribal" following as previous years, with Leinster and Ulster competing in an all-Ireland final before a 81,774-strong crowd.
"I love it," he told Sky Sports. "It's amazing, it almost gets a little bit tribal at times.
"From an Irish perspective, you have seen the support from Munster, Ulster, Leinster Connacht, there is massive competition in the support.
"We have the world record for the most people at a rugby game with the Leinster Ulster final at Twickenham."
Heaslip featured heavily in the Lions' victorious tour of Australia during the summer but as the dust settles on the heroics down under, his former team-mates turn rival once again.
Northampton - also in Pool 1 - pose fierce opposition to Leinster's hopes, more so with the acquisition of 21-year-old winger George North and Heaslip has been astonished by the talent of his fellow Lion.
"That kid is just an athlete," Heaslip added. "When you realise how young he is, you are just blown away.
"I am a greedy man when it comes to winning stuff. I am competitive; I always want to win and always want to compete."
"It just adds to it, there'll be a bit of banter before and after the game, probably during it too if I'm honest."
In the last year, Heaslip has captained his region and Ireland as well as being a part of the historic Lions touring party but despite a triumphant term, the 29-year-old is still hungry for more.
"I am a greedy man when it comes to winning stuff," he said. "I am competitive; I always want to win and always want to compete.
"All that stuff is packed down at my parents' house and when I finish rugby is when I'll take it all out and hang it on the walls."
You can see all 12 matches from round one of the Heineken Cup live on Sky Sports.