Leinster's disappointing end to their season will not impact Ireland at the World Cup, according to Grand Slam winner Fiona Hayes and the Independent's Rúaidhrí O'Connor.
The majority of the Irish World Cup training squad come from Leinster; a Leinster squad still reeling from losing their second Champions Cup final in a row to Ronan O'Gara's La Rochelle.
Additionally, Leinster have not played a match since, as they were knocked out of the United Rugby Championship by Munster in the semi-finals, who ran on to lift the URC trophy a week after Leinster's disappointment in Dublin.
While a large portion of Andy Farrell's squad comes from the same squad that tasted defeat in May, there does not appear to be a hangover from the defeat present in the camp.
'It's very raw for them'
Speaking on Wednesday Night Rugby, O'Connor and Hayes agreed that the Leinster players in the Ireland camp won't be negatively affected by the end of their season, in spite of them still feeling the pain of losing the final.
"It's raw, it's very raw for them," O'Connor said. "They have been asked a little bit about it recently, it still hurts them. Even though there's a big crossover in players and playing style, I do think when they walk into this place and come under that management they do shed their blue clothing.
"They are able to park it and are able to compartmentalise it. It obviously would be remiss of [Andy Farrell] not to analyse [the La Rochelle] gam in great detail and maybe have a chat with some of their senior players.
"Does [Paul] O'Connell ring up [Ronan] O'Gara, a close friend of his, and go: 'take me through exactly how you did this', and learn from it?
"Maybe you chance your arm and try it. I do think they are going to have poured over it and looked at what they do, but there's no one like La Rochelle in this tournament. I think South Africa are probably the closest thing to them."
Leinster's loss won't seep into Ireland
Hayes believes Farrell and co. will definitely take learnings from Leinster's losses to La Rochelle in the last two years, but it will not affect the squad as a whole, as it has not in the past.
"A lot of the time people questioned Leinster's mentality when it came to finals, was it a mentality thing?" Hayes said. "With Ireland, they've proven they don't have that issue.
"They were able to win big, they've beaten France in the last couple of years, they've won big over in New Zealand. They'll look at individual things, like the scrum and how it was dominated at times.
"Other than that, I think it's completely in the past."
O'Connor agreed, suggesting that recent results against the World Champions South Africa and rugby juggernauts the All Blacks will allay any fears of a 'Leinster hangover' in the Ireland squad.
"They've beaten everyone along the way," O'Connor said. "They've got great comfort from the fact they've beaten New Zealand, they've beaten South Africa.
"I don't see the hangover from Leinster creeping into this in the way that [it did in] '19. In 2019 they were broken by a series of bad result. Some of them were Leinster results, but it was really the two defeats to England that hurt them the most.
"I don't see that seeping into this."
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