Cullen wants sizable crowd for Croke Park Champions Cup semi-final

Cullen wants sizable crowd for Croke Park Champions Cup semi-final

Leo Cullen has expressed his hope that a large number of Leinster fans will come out in force to support the team in Croke Park in two weeks.

Leinster overcame their Champions Cup semi-final hoodoo on Saturday evening by hammering La Rochelle in the Aviva Stadium.

James Lowe (2), Jamison Gibson-Park, Ryan Baird, and Dan Sheehan scored tries, while Ross Byrne kicked three conversions and three penalties in the convincing win.

The 40-13 victory in Dublin ensures that Leinster will get a semi-final date in Croke Park. It also means that Leinster will play in the 82,000-capacity stadium for the first time since 2009, when they last played Munster that year.

Over 52,000 people saw Leinster sail into the semis, and Cullen is eager to see another bumper crowd in two weeks at GAA HQ.

"We have a three-week lead-in to a semi-final, and it would be amazing to get a big crowd in Croke Park because you couldn't take that for granted," said head coach Cullen.

"There's a lot of competition for attention, as we know.

"But we're so appreciative of the people that were there. It means a hell of a lot to the team. Hopefully, that stays strong and the crowd stays, but that's a few weeks away."

Croke Park would have been a huge incentive for Leinster's players, but it wouldn't have been the only one.

Cullen has maintained that he and his players never looked at anything other than a performance against La Rochelle.

"It (Croke Park) hasn't been talked about a lot, and that's honest to God. Even in the dressing room after the game, we didn't talk about it," Cullen added.

"The odd question here and there over the last while has been, 'Is this a chance?' and I know a lot of positive work has gone on to get this game on there.

"But you have to get to the game first. You can't get too far in front."

Caelan Doris also added, “It’s a great feeling,” Doris told TNT Sports. “We have massive respect for them as a group of players and a team.

“We’ve had some immense battles against them over the last number of years, and it is very pleasing to finally put in a performance like that and get a result like that.”