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Champions Leinster to open European defence against Wasps, Munster begin with trip to Exeter

The schedule, dates, and kick-off times for the European pool stages are finally in.

Leinster defeated Wasps in the 2017 quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium.
Leinster defeated Wasps in the 2017 quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

MUNSTER WILL MEET 2017 English champions Exeter Chiefs in the opening round of the Champions Cup as the long-awaited  fixture list was released today.

Two months on from the pool draw, champions Leinster now know they will host Wasps on opening night, Friday 12 October at the RDS, with Munster in Exeter and Ulster hosting Leicester the following day.

A week later, round two will see Munster’s old friends Gloucester travel to Limerick for a lunchtime kick-off on Saturday 20 October. Fans will be well clear of Thomond Park in time to watch Ulster take on Simon Zebo and Racing 92 on the evening of 20 October.

Mossie Lawlor Gloucester were the unfortunate side at the wrong end of the 2003 Miracle Match. Source: ©INPHO

The following day will see Europe’s most decorated sides face off with the clash of four-time champions Toulouse and Leinster in France’s prime time TV slot on Sunday afternoon, 21 October.

The December back-to-backs will see Ulster take on Scarlets, with a trip to Llanelli on 7 December before a Friday night return to Ravenhill a week later.

Leinster will also have a seven-day turnaround between Saturday meetings with Bath. Munster, however, will have six days to prepare between Castres matches with a Sunday afternoon battle Thomond Park clash on 9 December before the return game in Stade Pierre Fabre on Saturday 15 December.

Connacht, meanwhile, will begin their latest Challenge Cup tilt at home to Bordeaux Begles on Saturday 13 October, with a trip to Sale in store a week later. Perpignan will visit Galway for the first of the back-to-back clashes on 8 December before Connacht go to Catalunya for the return game on Friday 14 December.

Champions Cup, Irish provincial fixtures (Irish time)

Round one

Friday 12 October – Leinster v Wasps, 19.45
Saturday 13 October – Exeter v Munster, 15.15
Saturday 13 October – Ulster v Leicester, 17.30

Round two

Saturday 20 October – Munster v Gloucester, 13.00
Saturday 20 October – Racing 92 v Ulster, 18.30
Sunday 21 October – Toulouse v Leinster, 16.15

Round three

Friday 7 December – Scarlets v Ulster, 19.45
Saturday 8 December – Bath v Leinster, 15.15
Sunday 9 December – Munster v Castres, 13.00

Round four 

Friday 14 December – Ulster v Scarlets, 19.45
Saturday 15 December – Leinster v Bath, 17.30
Saturday 15 December – Castres v Munster, 18.30

Round five

Friday 11 January – Gloucester v Munster, 19.45
Saturday 12 January – Leinster v Toulouse, 13.00
Saturday 12 January – Ulster v Racing 92, 15.15

Round Six 

Saturday 19th January – Leicester v Ulster,15.15
Saturday 19th January – Munster v Exeter Chiefs, 17.30
Sunday 20th January – Wasps v Leinster, 15.15

Connacht Challenge Cup pool fixtures

Round one

Saturday 13 October — Connacht v Bordeaux Begles, 15.00

Round two

Saturday 20 October — Sale Sharks v Connacht, 15.00

Round three

Saturday 8 December — Connacht v Perpignan, 15.00

Round four

Friday 14 December — Perpignan v Connacht, 20.00

Round five

Saturday 12 January — Connacht v Sale Sharks, 15.00

Round six

Friday 18 January — Bordeaux Begles v Connacht, TBC

View full Challenge and Champions Cup fixtures here

– First published 12.21. 17 August

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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