Mike Catt hopes to turn the clock back 10 years on Saturday by reaching his second European Cup final.
Catt helped Bath lift European club rugby’s premier prize in 1998 after a dramatic one-point victory over Brive in Bordeaux.
Another French club – three-time European champions Toulouse – now stand between 36-year-old Catt and possible further Heineken Cup honours.
Subject to fitness – Catt has a recurring nerve-related problem that affects his hamstring and calf areas – he will be part of the London Irish assault on semi-final success at Toulouse’s expense this weekend.
Catt, who retired from Test rugby after last year’s World Cup, has not played at Twickenham – venue for Saturday’s showdown – since August.
On that occasion, the 75 times-capped World Cup-winner captained England in a tournament warm-up game against France which Les Bleus won 21-15.
Most pundits anticipate another French success on Saturday, yet playmaker Catt is quietly confident about Irish’s prospects of upsetting the formbook and securing a debut Heineken Cup final appearance.
If Irish get there, it would also guarantee seven Guinness Premiership clubs qualifying for next season’s showpiece European club rugby event.
Catt said: “We will probably be going into the game as the underdogs, but we are going to ensure we leave no stone unturned in trying to reach the final.
“We love the underdogs tag because we are used to it at London Irish.
“But we are at this stage on merit. We’ve worked hard to get here and we aim to give a good account of ourselves against a very talented Toulouse side.
“They have been at this stage so many times before and they have a wealth of experience, so it’s going to be really tough for us, but also very exciting.
“We beat a very good Perpignan side in the quarter-finals, our confidence is high and in the semi-finals of any competition you never know what is going to happen.
“And Twickenham will be very much like home for us. If we can count on the same level of support that we had from our fans against Perpignan, then we will feel very comfortable.”