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Potential Venues For Champions Cup Semi-Finals Announced

Potential Venues For Champions Cup Semi-Finals Announced

Croke Park hosted the all-Irish Heineken Cup semi-final back in 2009 when Leinster ran out 25-6 winners over arch rivals Munster ©INPHO/James Crombie

EPCR has confirmed that professional club rugby could make a return to Dublin’s iconic Croke Park if Leinster secure home country advantage for an Investec Champions Cup semi-final next month.

The superbly-appointed 82,300-capacity headquarters ground of the GAA is among the venues selected by EPCR to stage a match in the penultimate round of this season’s tournament.

It is 15 years since the last time club rugby was played in the stadium when Leinster defeated arch rivals Munster in a legendary 2009 Heineken Cup semi-final, which generated a then world record attendance of 82,208 for a club match.

The Aviva Stadium is unavailable for the Investec Champions Cup semi-finals due to preparations for the UEFA Europa League final.

That means number two-ranked Leinster will play either Northampton Saints or the Vodacom Bulls at Croke Park on the weekend of May 4/5 if they manage to defeat reigning champions La Rochelle in Saturday’s quarter-final.

If number one-ranked Toulouse qualify for the last-four, they will play either Bordeaux-Bègles or Harlequins at Le Stadium in Toulouse.

If third-ranked Northampton Saints qualify with home country advantage, they will play La Rochelle at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, while if fourth-ranked Bordeaux-Bègles also qualify with home country advantage, they will take on the Exeter Chiefs at Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux.

if Harlequins qualify to meet the Exeter Chiefs, the match will be staged at Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol, and if the Vodacom Bulls book a semi-final place against La Rochelle, then the UK venue for that fixture will be announced pending results from this weekend’s quarter-finals.

The teams with the highest rankings from the pool stages will earn home country advantage for the semi-finals, and the exact dates, venues, kick-off times, and TV coverage for the matches will be announced as soon as possible following the quarter-finals.

The Investec Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup season reaches its climax at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25, with the top sides from each competition battling it out to win the coveted trophies.

Tickets are selling fast with 65,000 already purchased for the showpiece finals weekend which is widely regarded as the pinnacle of international club rugby. Click here for more information and to buy your ticket(s).


(Rankings after pool stages in brackets)

Toulouse (1) v Bordeaux-Bègles (4) or Harlequins (5) – Le Stadium, Toulouse (capacity: 33,150)

LEINSTER (2) v Northampton Saints (3) or Vodacom Bulls (6)Croke Park, Dublin (capacity: 82,300)

Northampton Saints (3) v La Rochelle (10) – Stadium MK, Milton Keynes (capacity: 30,500)

Bordeaux-Bègles (4) v Exeter Chiefs (8) – Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux (capacity: 42,100)

Harlequins (5) v Exeter Chiefs (8) – Ashton Gate Stadium, Bristol (capacity: 27,000)

Vodacom Bulls (6) v La Rochelle (10) – UK venue tbc