Shane Jennings insists Leinster are wiping the slate clean as they bid for a European hat-trick, claiming they will not see themselves as defending Heineken Cup champions once the competition kicks off.
Leinster begin their European campaign against Exeter Chiefs at the RDS this weekend on the back of a morale-boosting RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Irish rivals Munster.
With three Heineken Cups to their name in the last four years, it’s a position that Leinster are getting used to but Jennings is adamant they have a far different approach to when they first lifted the trophy back in 2009.
“You definitely learn from past experiences,” Jennings told the Irish Independent.
“The first time we won it, there definitely was an awful lot more of bringing the cup around the province and to various functions, etc, etc.
“Maybe sometimes we overdid it, maybe sometimes we didn't overdo it. There's a big focus on this time round, and Joe [Schmidt] said it last season, ‘we’re not actually defending a trophy, it’s not ours for the season – last season was when we had it and we enjoyed those couple of weeks’.
“If you go around thinking that just because you got to the knockout stages or got to a final, you're entitled to it… no, it's a new slate and you’ve got to try and win your first game and build some momentum.”