London Irish play their first Heineken Cup semi-final at the home of English Rugby against French aristocrats Toulouse.

Brain Smith’s side could not have asked for a harder task than the three-times Heineken Cup winners, and they certainly would not have wanted the easy path if they are to lift their first European trophy.

The fact that Irish are competing in the final four is testament to the progress they have made under the coaching team of Smith and England World Cup winner Mike Catt.

Two season’s ago, their free running style got them to the final of the European Challenge Cup. They lost on the day to a rampant Gloucester side, but gained entry to the Heineken Cup through their final league position.

Last season, Irish lost five of their six Pool matches but learnt to shore up their defences this season as they qualified as top of the Pool.

Toulouse go into this match as favourites, but Irish have beaten them and will be looking to upset the odds and reach their first Heineken Cup final.