Leinster is obviously a well-oiled squad. An impressive collective, taking precedence over individualities. But Le Figaro has decided. Six “essential” players from the Irish province were scrutinized before the final against Stade Toulousain on Saturday (3:45 p.m.) in the English lair of Tottenham football club.

He is one of the best right pillars on the oval planet. Without dispute. In the tradition of illustrious right-handers who have passed through Leinster like CJ van der Linde or Mike Ross, Tadhg Furlong is a formidable client. First in closed scrum, where the 31-year-old player, weighing 125 kg on the scale, excels with his strength and hold. Like Cyril Baille who will face him, the Irish international (71 caps) is also a modern pillar, with astonishing mobility. Accustomed to moving his frame to the four corners of the pitch with always the same intensity, the right pillar also impresses with his gestures with the ball in hand, his kicking game (!), rare but already seen, and his few actions worthy of the biggest three -quarters. “I’ve been playing rugby since I was four or five years old. I should be able to make a pass a yard or two, right? “, he joked in 2022 after a nice jump pass. And then Furlong is also about experience. With notably two Grand Slams won and four Champions Cup finals contested. A customer.

A young man of 23 with the attitudes of an old veteran. After a full match against Romania at the last World Cup for his first selection, McCarthy came on as a substitute in Ireland’s quarter-final defeat against New Zealand. Brilliant at club and in training, Andy Farrell, the coach of the Irish XV, did not hesitate to start it in Marseille against the Blues for the first day of the Six Nations Tournament. A meeting where he logically received the honorary title of man of the match. Since then, the young second-row has gone on to impress everyone. “Ah, Joe, it’s a machine, a big machine. He has this quite rare physical power which allows him to advance his team, in attack or defense. What is remarkable is his attitude. He always wants to make a difference in the match,” Stuart Lancaster, ex-Leinster coach and now manager of Racing 92, told L’Équipe. South African legend Victor Matfield also added about him: “C “He’s a fantastic running back.” Fierce, dynamic and powerful, he could be aligned as number 4 after the return of James Ryan.

Tall (1m93), strong (106 kg) and helmeted, Caelan Doris has a Grégory Alldritt profile. In the game, the similarities between the two colossi are striking. Solid defender, big ball carrier, powerful and devourer of rucks, the Irish number 8 is one of the three best in his position on the oval planet, alongside Rochelais and All Black Ardie Savea. A true anchor of the Irish province, Doris is a complete player and rarely disappointing. The native of Ballina, a town in the northwest of Ireland, quickly established himself ahead of his teammate Jack Conan in the Irish team and then with Leinster. Selected 38 times with the XV of Clover, the third-row center has already played in three European Cup/Champions Cup finals (2019, 2022 and 2023). Still a fallen finalist, there is no doubt that the formidable number 8 will do damage to try to win the coveted crown.

He is not as strong and spectacular as Antoine Dupont. He also doesn’t have Aaron Smith’s pass rush. But Jamison Gibson-Park is in… Olympic form. Arriving in 2016 from New Zealand, the scrum-half initially did not convince before gaining momentum. Having become eligible due to his residence in Ireland, the 32-year-old has, over the years, passed Conor Murray in the selection. Over the past two seasons, Gibson-Park has become essential. He is also this great link between the pack and the backs. Always fair in his decision-making and in his vision of the game, valuable through his kicking game and leader through his experience, the Leinsterman received praise from his teammate Doris at the microphone of the TNTSports channel after the victorious quarter-final against La Rochelle. “Jamison is incredible,” the captain of the day was still surprised. It’s a joy to play with him. He maintains such a high pace, he is so unpredictable while at the same time remaining within the strategic framework of the team.”

A third line placed on the wing, with a great kick, a calm smile and an always impeccable bun. This is a very quick description of James Lowe. The New Zealand-born winger had more difficulty establishing himself in the selection. Deemed “too slow” for his position and not very reassuring defensively, Lowe suffered some criticism. Before becoming unscrewing on his wing. Offensively, the former Waikato Chiefs (New Zealand) is powerful, weighing 105 kg on the scale. Good after contact, he shines especially with his enormous kick, which often relieves his respective teams. During the last Tournament, James Lowe gained 478 meters. He then dominated the ranking of players who ran the most. The Toulouse rearguard will have to be careful.

A player who hardly misses anything. Always impeccable, Hugo Keenan does not, however, hold back. A booster and solid last line of defense, the Irish full-back is a sure value whose return is long overdue. Injured in recent weeks, he had been preserved but should apply to face Toulouse. Having played rugby sevens, the Irish international (38 caps) can also play in all positions of the three-quarter line.