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European play-off puzzle complete

Sun, 19 Jan 2014 18:25
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After a drama-packed final round of pool matches, the European Cup quarterfinal line-up was confirmed on Sunday - and what a heavyweight line-up it is.

No.1 seeds Ulster host Saracens, Clermont are at home against Leicester, reigning champions, Toulon take on Leinster and Toulouse go to Thomond Park for the first time to meet Munster in early April.

Meanwhile, Northampton, Harlequins and Gloucester have booked their spots in the European Challenge Cup quarterfinals along with the pool winners Bath, Wasps, Stade Francais, Sale and Brive.

Bath go in as No.1 seeds to face Brive at home, Wasps take on Gloucester, Stade Francais clash with Harlequins in a repeat of the 2011 Final and Sale meet Northampton.

European Cup quarterfinal Qualifiers/Rankings:

1 Ulster
2 Clermont
3 Toulon
4 Munster
5 Toulouse
6 Leinster
7 Leicester Tigers (best pool runner-up)
8 Saracens (second best pool runner-up)

European Cup quarterfinals (to be played on the weekend of April 4-6):

1 Ulster v Saracens
2 Clermont v Leicester Tigers
3 Toulon v Leinster
4 Munster v Toulouse

European Cup semifinals (to be played on the weekend of April 25-27):

The draw for the tournament semifinals was made at Thomond Park, Limerick on Sunday.

The winner of the first named quarterfinal in each semifinal pairing will have home country advantage.

Semifinal 1: Ulster or Saracens v Clermont or Leicester Tigers
Semifinal 2: Toulon or Leinster v Munster or Toulouse

European Challenge Cup quarterfinal Qualifiers/Rankings:

1 Bath (first-ranked pool winner)
2 London Wasps (second-ranked pool winner)
3 Stade Francais (third-ranked pool winner)
4 Sale Sharks (fourth-ranked pool winner)
5 Northampton Saints (third-ranked European Cup pool runner-up)
6 Harlequins (fourth-ranked European Cup pool runner-up)
7 Gloucester (fifth-ranked European Cup pool runner-up)
8 Brive (fifth-ranked pool winner)

European Challenge Cup quarterfinals (to be played on the weekend of April 4-6):

1 Bath v Brive
2 London Wasps v Gloucester
3 Stade Francais v Harlequins
4 Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints

European Challenge Cup semifinals (to be played on the weekend of April 25-27):

The draw for the tournament semifinals was made at Thomond Park, Limerick on Sunday.

The winner of the first named quarterfinal in each semifinal pairing will have home venue advantage.

Semifinal 1: London Wasps or Gloucester v Bath or Brive
Semifinal 2: Sale Sharks or Northampton Saints v Stade Francais or Harlequins

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