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Roads to Dublin mapped out

Mon, 21 Jan 2013 18:19
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Quins qualify as No.1 seed
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The European Cup and European Challenge Cup quarterfinal qualifiers and their rankings have been confirmed following the conclusion of the pool stages at the weekend.

Unbeaten Pool Three and Pool Five winners Harlequins and Clermont are the top two seeds in the last eight, with the English outfit edging their French counterparts to the number one placing due to their superior try tally.
 
Quins will host second best Pool runner-up Munster in the first quarterfinal match after Munster pipped Irish rivals and two-time defending champions Leinster to the last eight on tries scored.

In the other quarterfinal match-ups, Clermont meet best Pool runner-up Montpellier in an-all French affair, Toulon tackle Leicester Tigers and Saracens face Ulster.

Saracens are in talks with Barnet Council to stage their home tie at Allianz Park as their new home can only accommodate 10,000 fans, which is 5,000 short of the ERC's minimum capacity.

"There are a number of hoops to go through before we can hold the match at Allianz Park," explained club chief executive Edward Griffiths.

"We are in talks with the council over the capacity to see if it's perfectly possible to increase the capacity for one match, or if it's too soon."

Wembley or Twickenham are alternative venues for the match.

The qualifiers and their rankings for the European Cup quarterfinals are:
1 Harlequins
2 Clermont
3 Toulon
4 Saracens
5 Ulster
6 Leicester Tigers
7 Montpellier (Best Pool runner-up)
8 Munster (Second best Pool runner-up)

The European Cup quarterfinal matches to be played on the weekend of April 5-7 are:
(1) Harlequins v Munster (8)
(2) Clermont v Montpellier (7)
(3) Toulon v Leicester Tigers (6)
(4) Saracens v Ulster (5)

The three European Cup pool runners-up who have qualified for the European Challenge Cup quarterfinals are:
1 Leinster (Third best Pool runner-up)
2 Toulouse (Fourth best Pool runner-up)
3 Biarritz (Fifth best Pool runner-up)

The qualifiers and their rankings for the European Challenge Cup quarterfinals are:
1 Bath (First-ranked ACC pool winner)
2 Gloucester (Second-ranked ACC pool winner)
3 Perpignan (Third-ranked ACC pool winner)
4 London Wasps (Fourth-ranked ACC pool winner)
5 Leinster (Third-best European Cup pool runner-up)
6 Toulouse (Fourth-best European Cup pool runner-up)
7 Biarritz (Fifth-best European Cup pool runner-up)
8 Stade Francais (Fifth-ranked ACC pool winner)

The European Challenge Cup quarterfinal matches to be played on April 4-7 are:
1 Bath (ACC 1) v 8 Stade Francais (ACC 5)
2 Gloucester (ACC 2) v 7 Biarritz (European Cup 3)
3 Perpignan (ACC 3) v 6 Toulouse (European Cup 2)
4 London Wasps (ACC 4) v 5 Leinster (European Cup 1)

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