Euro rookies in all-French affair

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:46
Large heineken cup630 Large leebyrneclermonttry Large sirelibobomontpellier

The ERC on Thursday announced the dates and kick-off times for the European Cup quarterfinals.

One of the most anticipated weekends in the rugby calendar will get under way with the all-French clash of Clermont and Montpellier at Stade Marcel Michelin on Saturday, April 6 following Thursday’s announcement by ERC of the dates and kick-off times for the European Cup quarterfinals.

Saracens will be up against last season’s beaten finalists, Ulster, in the second of the Saturday fixtures with a venue to be announced at a later date, while Sunday’s matches on April 7 will kick-off with the meeting of pool stage top seeds Harlequins and two-time European Cup champions Munster at the Twickenham Stoop.

With all matches broadcast live, and with capacity crowds expected at every venue, the curtain will come down on the weekend when French heavyweights Toulon take on Leicester Tigers, who won the tournament in 2001 and 2002, in the first ever meeting between the clubs in Europe.

Five of the clubs in the last eight - Clermont, Harlequins, Leicester, Munster and Ulster - have European titles to their names, while Montpellier will be appearing in the knockout stage for the first time.

European Cup quarterfinals:

Saturday, April 6

Clermont v Montpellier
Venue:
Stade Marcel Michelin
Kick-off: 16.40 (14.40 GMT)

Saracens v Ulster
Venue:
TBC
Kick-off: 18.30 (17.30 GMT)
 
Sunday, April 7

Harlequins v Munster
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 14.00 (13.00 GMT)

Toulon v Leicester Tigers
Venue: TBC
Kick-off: 17.30 (15.30 GMT)

European Cup quarterfinal notes:

Clermont v Montpellier

The match at Stade Marcel Michelin will be the first meeting of the clubs in a European tournament
Clermont have now gone 54 matches unbeaten at home
Clermont reached the last four last season before losing 19-15 to eventual champions Leinster in a memorable semifinal in Bordeaux
Morgan Parra is the leading scorer from the pool stage with 90 points

Saracens v Ulster
The game will mark Saracens’ third appearance in a European Cup quarterfinal
Ulster bucked a tournament trend last season by with an away quarterfinal victory over Munster at Thomond Park
Owen Farrell set a tournament record of 10 penalties in a match during Saracens’ key win over Racing Metro at Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes in Round Five
Saracens’ Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, was Ulster’s captain in the club’s European Cup-winning season of 1999 but missed the final through injury

Harlequins v Munster
Harlequins came through the pool stage as No.1 seeds for the first time in the club’s history
Munster have reached the knockout stage of the tournament 14 times in the past 15 seasons
The last time the clubs met in European competition, Harlequins pulled off a famous 2011 Challenge Cup semifinal victory at Thomond Park
Munster have played in 13 European Cup quarterfinals, winning nine, including three away from home: against Stade Francais in 2002, Leicester Tigers in 2003 and Gloucester in 2008

Toulon v Leicester Tigers
Toulon’s only appearance to date in the last eight was in 2011 when they were defeated by Perpignan in front of a record quarterfinal crowd of 55,000 at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona
Leicester have played in 10 European Cup quarterfinals, winning six and losing four
Each club has one player in their European Cup squads who have a tournament winner’s medal: Freddie Michalak (with Toulouse in 2003 and ‘05) and Tigers’ Geordan Murphy in 2001 and ‘02
Leicester have won one of their 10 tournament quarterfinals away from home when they beat Leinster at Lansdowne Road in 2005

European Cup semifinals:
Matches to be played on the weekend of April 26-28
The winner of the first-named quarterfinal match in each semifinal pairing will have home country advantage
Semifinal 1: Saracens or Ulster v Toulon or Leicester Tigers
Semifinal 2: Clermont or Montpellier v Harlequins or Munster
 
European Cup final:
Date:
Saturday, May 18
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Kick-off: 17.00 (16.00 GMT)

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 March 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 24
Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 2 0 4 8
Racing Metro 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 1 1 22
Toulouse 6 3 2 1 18
Connacht 6 4 0 2 18
Zebre 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 1 0 24
Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 11
Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 23
Montpellier 6 3 0 3 16
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 26
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10