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Scarlets star Gareth Davies relishing Champions Cup Challenge

Credit: PA

Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies says the Scarlets mean business in Saturday's European Champions Cup semi-final against Leinster.

The Welsh region have never reached a European final, while it is 11 years since they last sampled the rarefied atmosphere of a last-four encounter.

During 22 years of European Cup rugby, teams from three countries - England, Ireland and France - have shared the titles, with only 11 different winners in Leinster, Saracens, Toulon, Toulouse, Munster, Wasps, Leicester, Northampton, Ulster, Bath and Brive.

But the Scarlets will arrive at Dublin's Aviva Stadium as PRO12 champions - and in the knowledge they beat Leinster in last season's league play-offs - with no shortage of confidence.

They also know that performances have been produced when it really mattered this term, notably victories over Bath, Toulon and La Rochelle in their last three European games.

Scarlets fans celebrate their victory over Bath in the Champions Cup match at the Recreation Ground, Bath. Credit: PA

"We set a target at the start of the season to be involved in the knockout stages in both the league and Europe," Scarlets number nine Davies said.

"It is quite an achievement to get this far, but we are hungry for more now.

"It (2007 semi-final) has been mentioned once or twice in the last couple of weeks, but we, as a group of players, want to go that extra step and make a bit of history on Saturday."

The Scarlets' renowned brand of attacking rugby was presented in all its glory as they beat Leinster - and then Munster - to win the PRO12 title, scoring nine tries and 73 points across those two games.

And they have no intention of deviating from that all-court approach, even though the stakes are so high.

"We will stick to our usual game - we are not going to change anything," Davies added.

"Yes, Leinster are going to be full of confidence, but I think we will have plenty of confidence as well. A few of us had a couple of days off last week to recharge the batteries, and we have come in and are looking good.

"We have shown in the last 12 to 18 months the brand of rugby that we enjoy playing. We have trained well, and hopefully we can bring that brand of rugby again this weekend.

"It (last season against Leinster) was obviously a good day for us. I thought we played really well.

"But that was nearly 12 months ago, a lot has changed and there are a few different players in both sides. We won't be looking back too much at that game because it is a different challenge for us this weekend.

"Leinster are one of the best teams in Europe, they are top of our conference in the PRO14 and beat Saracens a couple of weeks ago. They have had a good season, and they are rightly favourites going into the game.

"But we as a group quite like going in as underdogs."