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Back Us Wales – Llewellyn

Neath go into the Celtic League final against Munster as the underdogs – but captain Gareth Llewellyn is adamant his team will not be over-awed by the double Heineken Cup finalists.

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“We have busted a gut to get to the final, and we have beaten some quality opposition along the way, like Llanelli, Swansea and Cardiff, so obviously we mean business,” said Wales lock Llewellyn.

“I have not seen much of Munster this season but they are being very consistent and any team who reaches two Heineken Cup finals in three seasons must be a force.

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“We lost 35-19 at home to them in the group stages of the Celtic League, which was probably largely of our own undoing, but we did beat them at The Gnoll last season so at the moment it stands at one apiece.

“We should be two evenly matched sides, both teams have solid sets of forwards and physical backs and Munster were obviously in top form in the last round of the Heineken Cup – anyone who beats Gloucester by 30 must be on fire. We put in a positive performance against Leicester and we must take that into the final.

“We had a stuttering start to the season when we ground out a few results but now our game is starting to come together and in the last three matches, against Cardiff, Pontypridd and Beziers, we put in some very good performances.

“When we beat Cardiff in the semi-finals, Cardiff coach Dai Young told me he hoped the whole of Wales would get behind Neath for the final and I hope that happens on the day.

“I am sure we will take plenty of supporters to Cardiff but Munster are also a very well supported team and I would be extremely disappointed if they outnumbered us at the Millennium Stadium.

“Our ticket sales have been fantastic and it will be a great day out for everyone involved with Neath but I would like to think Welsh rugby supporters in general will turn up.

“We are not brilliantly represented in the national side but I honestly believe we have players in the Neath team who are playing as well as anyone else in Wales at the moment and this would be a great occasion for those players to prove the point.

“We have been there before, we have experienced it and know what to expect. But losing the 2001 Principality Cup final wont have any bearing on the day, hopefully we are a more experienced side as well as having taken on board a few new players since then.”

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