Nick Abendanon believes 2017 will finally be the year ASM Clermont Auvergne lift the European Rugby Champions Cup.
The French heavyweights face Leinster Rugby in Lyon on Saturday for a place in the BT Murrayfield final after some near misses in recent years. Defeats to RC Toulon in 2013 and 2015 scuppered their hopes of lifting European rugby's greatest prize. But after breaking their hoodoo in the quarter-finals, Abendanon reckons the time is right for his men to taste Champions Cup glory.
He said: "We're carrying in some good form and there's no reason why we can't go all the way. We are fully aware that Leinster are a fantastic side as well and that the pose lots of threats in attack and defence. If we can get through this one then we give ourselves a great chance going into the final.
"I feel like the team has a better understanding, better rugby intelligence of how we want to play the game. We've got some key players - Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra and Remi Lamerat - who are vital to the team and in great form at the moment.
"They're integral parts of the machine. If we get going forward then they control things very well for us. It's up to them to guide us in the right direction. If they play well then the whole team plays well. And if we're all playing well, we're very tough to stop."
Booking a place in this year's final against either reigning champions Saracens or two-time winners Munster will be no easy feat against the PRO12 leaders. Leinster are unbeaten in 2017 and earned their place in the last-four with a dominant victory over Wasps.
Abendanon is relishing pitting his wits against the likes of Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose. But the battle of the outside-halves is one he is looking forward to watching the most.
He said: "They've got players with great skill in the backline, who have a good understanding of the game. We know we need to be top of our game. Sexton against Lopez will be great matchup. He controls their game. If we do our analysis well, hopefully our experience will show and we'll put them under pressure."
Fijian back row star Peceli Yato 's fourth minute try in ASM Clermont Auvergne's Champions Cup semi-final win over Leinster Rugby in Lyon has been selected as the 'Try of the Round' for the quarter and semi finals.