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Toulon and Tigers heading to Mayol

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 18:21
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Toulon are set to stage a first ever European Cup quarterfinal at home following confirmation that Stade Félix Mayol will host the hugely anticipated last-eight clash with Leicester Tigers on the Côte d’Azur on Sunday, April 7.

The French club have satisfied tournament regulations by increasing their stadium capacity to over the required 15,000 for a European Cup quarterfinal, and with number one seeds, Harlequins, having also complied with the minimum requirement by boosting the capacity of the Twickenham Stoop for their tie against Munster, all venues are now confirmed for the knockout matches.

Toulon’s contest against the two-time former European Cup champions will be the biggest game played at Stade Mayol in the history of the club with the French aiming to go one better than in 2011 when they lost in the quarter-final to Perpignan at the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona.

April will see the return of European club rugby fever with sell-out crowds expected for the matches at Stade Marcel Michelin, the Stoop and Stade Mayol, while the attendance at Twickenham Stadium for the meeting of Saracens and Rugby could challenge the UK record of 37,881 for a European Cup quarterfinal set at Murrayfield last season.

European Cup quarterfinals:

Saturday, April 6

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

Saracens v Ulster
Venue: Twickenham
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: Stade Félix Mayol
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)

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