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Pro12: Leinster prop Mike Ross braced for Saturday's derby with Munster

Last Updated: 26/03/14 5:25pm

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Leinster prop Mike Ross says Saturday's provincial derby with Munster is perfect preparation for both sides ahead of the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

The rivals meet at a sold-out Aviva Stadium for their top-of-the-table Pro12 clash, where a host of Ireland internationals will return to provincial duty.

With Leinster travelling to Toulon the following weekend and Munster hosting Toulouse, Ross believes a physical contest will boost their chances of success in Europe.

The tight-head said: "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."

He added: "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."

Victory for Leinster will extend their lead at the top of the Pro12 but Ross has warned they must produce consistently high performances in their remaining five games if they are to guarantee a home semi-final.

"It helps (to beat Munster) but it can work against you," he explained. "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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