Euro knock-outs take shape

Mon, 27 Jan 2014 12:36
Heavyweight confrontations in the European Cup last eight

The dates for the European Cup and Challenge Cup quarterfinals in early April have been confirmed, with a total of 30 European titles between the teams involved.

The knock-out stages of the two tournaments will get underway on Thursday, April 3 with the all-English clash of Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The heavyweight confrontations in the European Cup last eight begin with four-time champions, Toulouse, paying a first visit to Munster's Thomond Park fortress on Saturday, April 5, with that mouthwatering fixture followed by the meeting of last season's beaten finalists, Clermont Auvergne, and Leicester Tigers at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

The Saturday schedule will be completed when number one seeds, Ulster, host Saracens at Ravenhill in a repeat of the 2013 quarterfinal won 27-16 by Saracens at Twickenham Stadium, while Sunday, April 6 will feature the first match between reigning champions, Toulon, and three-time winners Leinster at Stade Felix Mayol.

Sunday also sees Bath hosting Brive at the Recreation Ground in the Challenge Cup in a reprise of the 1998 Euroean Cup decider, with the weekend wrapped up later in the day when two former Challenge Cup winners, London Wasps and Gloucester, meet in their quarterfinal at Adams Park.   

Earlier in the schedule, Harlequins will travel to Paris to take on Stade Francais on Friday, April 4 in a repeat of the 2011 Challenge Cup final.

European Cup quarterfinals:

Saturday April 5

Munster v Toulouse, Thomond Park (13.30; 13.30 GMT)
Clermont Auvergne v Leicester Tigers, Stade Marcel-Michelin (17.00; 16.00 GMT)
Ulster v Saracens, Ravenhill (18.30; 18.30 GMT)

Sunday, April 6

Toulon v Leinster, Stade Félix Mayol (17.30; 16.30 GMT)

Challenge Cup quarterfinals:

Thursday, April 3

Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints, AJ Bell Stadium (20.00; 20.00 GMT)

Friday, April 4

Stade Francais Paris v Harlequins, Stade Jean Bouin (21.00; 20.00 GMT)

Sunday, April 6

Bath v Brive, Recreation Ground (14.00; 14.00 GMT)
London Wasps v Gloucester, Adams Park (19.00; 19.00 GMT)