A LOT OF RUGBY has yet to be played but, should Leinster and Munster win their Heineken Cup quarter finals, Irish supporters may be set for another interprovincial clash in the last four. The ERC confirmed, this morning, that the Aviva Stadium will host Leinster’s semi final if they beat Toulon on Sunday.
The semi-final, which Munster and Leinster both hope to be in, has been set for Sunday, 27 April [with a 3:30pm kick-off]. If Leinster were to lose, Toulon would host the winners of Munster’s Saturday encounter with Toulouse at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille.
There had been talk about moving any potential all-Ireland semi final to Croke Park, which has a greater seating capacity of almost 30,000, but today’s announcement appears to rule out the option. Munster beat Leinster comfortably in a 2006 Heineken Cup semi final clash at the old Lansdowne Road. The Blues gained a measure of revenge three years later as they beat their old rivals 25-6 at Croke Park to reach their first ever final.
Should top seeds Ulster defeat Saracens at Ravenhill, on Saturday, Mark Anscombe’s men have also opted for the 51,000-seater Aviva Stadium. Ulster played at the same venue against Edinburgh in 2012, en route to a final they lost against Leinster.
Were Sarries to defeat Ulster, they would get to host the winners of Clermont versus Leicester Tigers at Twickenham. Regardless of the results of those two quarter finals, the time and date have been set as 3:40pm on Saturday, 26 April.
Details of ticket sales for the two high-profile matches will be available on the ERC site next week. Tickets will be sold via the competing clubs and will also be on general sale.