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Provinces Face Prospect Of Away Semi-Finals

Provinces Face Prospect Of Away Semi-Finals

If Leinster and Munster manage to progress through the Heineken Cup’s quarter-final stage, they will both face away semi-final trips in early May. Sunday’s draw has pitted Toulouse/Stade Francais at home to Leinster/Clermont Auvergne and the winners of Munster v Northampton Saints will be away to Biarritz Olympique or the Ospreys.

The draw for the Heineken Cup semi-finals was made in Paris on Sunday evening and if defending champions Leinster can overcome Clermont Auvergne in the quarter-finals in early April, they will be away in France to the winners of the Toulouse and Stade Francais quarter-final in the semi-finals to be played on the weekend of May 1 and 2.

“First up for us is Clermont,” said Leinster captain Leo Cullen, as he reacted to the draw.

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“If we can get past them then we will start looking at the challenge of facing either Toulouse or Stade Francais.

“The quality of the teams left in the Heineken Cup is just unbelievable and this season the French teams have really hit back with their sides winning four of the six pools.

“It has brought a French feel to the tournament and you have to say they are looking pretty formidable, particularly with the prospect for them of playing in the final in Paris in May.”


– Matches to be played on May 1/2

The winner of the first named quarter-final in each semi-final pairing will have home country advantage.

Semi-final 1: Toulouse or Stade Francais v LEINSTER or Clermont Auvergne

Semi-final 2: Biarritz Olympique or Ospreys v MUNSTER or Northampton Saints