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Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 23 May, 2019
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Leinster hit with five-day turnaround for crunch Heineken Cup matches

Matt O’Connor’s men handed tough fixture list as they chase home advantage in the knockout stages.

Leinster: lead Pool 1 after four rounds but bonus points likely to be decisive.
Leinster: lead Pool 1 after four rounds but bonus points likely to be decisive.
Image: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

LEINSTER’S HEINEKEN CUP hopes will hinge on a five-day turnaround between their final two pool games.

Matt O’Connor’s side are likely to need two wins against Castres and Ospreys to qualify as a top seed and clinch home advantage for the quarter-finals.

The ERC confirmed today that their Round 5 game against Castres will be a lunchtime kick-off (12.45pm) on Sunday 12 January at the Stade Pierre Antoine.

And Leinster will be one of the first teams to finish their pool matches when they host Ospreys in a Friday evening kick-off (8pm) at the RDS on the 17th.

Northampton and Ospreys meet in Pool 1′s other Round 5 fixture on 12 January, leaving them with a similar Sunday/Friday schedule.

Only the top four pool winners are guaranteed a home quarter-final, and the quick turnaround could leave Pool 1′s eventual winner at a disadvantage in the race for the all-important seeding.

Munster travel to play their Pool 6 rivals Gloucester at Kingsholm at 6pm on Saturday 11th before finishing at home to Edinburgh at 12.45pm on Sunday 19th.

Ulster host Montpellier on Friday 10th (8pm) and then travel to Welford Road for what is likely to be a Pool 5 decider against Leicester on Saturday 18th (6pm).

Connacht finish with two Saturday fixtures, hosting Zebre at the Sportsground on the 11th (3.40pm) before heading to Allianz Park on the 18th to play Saracens (1.35pm).

Heineken Cup (selected round five fixtures)

Friday 10 Jan

  • Ulster v Montpellier (8pm)

Sat 11 Jan

  • Connacht v Zebre (3.40pm)
  • Gloucester v Munster (6pm)

Sun 12 Jan

  • Castres v Leinster (12.45pm)

Selected round six fixtures

Friday 17 Jan

  • Leinster v Ospreys (8pm)

Saturday 18 Jan

  • Saracens v Connacht (1.35pm)
  • Leicester v Ulster (6pm)

Sunday 19 Jan

  • Munster v Edinburgh (12.45pm)

Check out the full Round 5 and Round 6 fixture list here >

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Niall Kelly

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