Glasgow's Chris Fusaro sees Pro12 final as stepping stone for loftier European ambitions
Last Updated: 27/05/14 3:54pm
Glasgow flanker Chris Fusaro hopes playing in Saturday's RaboDirect Pro12 final will strengthen the Warriors' loftier ambitions in European competition.
Gregor Townsend's men will become the first Scottish side to compete in a Pro12 final when they take on Leinster at the RDS in Dublin.
But their league form is in stark contrast to their performances during the group stage of Europe's premier competition, the Heineken Cup, which will be replaced next season by the European Rugby Champions Cup.
Glasgow finished bottom of Pool Two after losing home and away to French Top 14 side Toulon and to Cardiff Blues.
But Fusaro said: "Playing in finals is a great experience and hopefully something we can get used to by making finals year in, year out.
"The Heineken Cup was a disappointment this year. We had a really good group and should have qualified from it. We just didn't perform in the important games.
"But hopefully we can improve on that next year and games like Saturday's will help us do that."
Fusaro made his Scotland debut in the RBS Six Nations clash with England in February and now wants to cap off the biggest season of his life with his first major title.
"It sounds like a cliche, but winning a Rabo title would be a dream come true and a great way to end a big year for me," he said.
"The last 12 months have been massive for me and it would top it off with something really special if we could achieve this win with Glasgow."
Glasgow have won their last nine games to storm into Saturday's final and Fusaro believes his side are on top form ahead of their clash with the Irish big guns.
"We had a wee dip around Christmas time, but after the Six Nations were out the way, we had a game with Leinster, which proved to be a turning point for us," he said.
"We lost over there, but the performance was really good and now we have notched up nine wins on the bounce.
"We would never say we were due the win but there is a real feeling of optimism around the club."
The European Rugby Champions Cup will replace the Heineken Cup for the 2014/15 season and will involve 20 teams, rather than 24, with six from the Aviva Premiership, six from the French Top 14 and seven from the Pro12.
The final place will be decided by a play-off.
A new European Rugby Challenge Cup will replace the second-tier Amlin Cup and a new third-tier cup will be introduced, called the Qualifying Competition.