Leinster draw Clermont Auvergne in Heineken Cup Quarter-Finals
Leinster’s last minute heroics in Twickenham last night against London Irish has earned the 2009 European Cup champions a home quarter final draw against swashbuckling French side Clermont Auvergne. This tie will pit Michael Cheika’s side against their soon to be new head coach Josef Schmidt and one of the favourites to win the competition.
Clermont qualified for the quarter finals thanks to a 59-20 win over Italian side Viadana in which they ran in nine tries. This huge win saw them overtake both Ospreys and Leicester to claim top spot in pool three and in the overall rankings of the quarter finalist they finished 5th with 21 points, only one point behind Leinster in 4th with a tally of 22 points.
This tie will see the RDS host it’s first match beyond the pool stages of the Heineken Cup and could be regarded as one of the ties of the quarter finals. Elsewhere in the quarter finals, Toulouse will host Stade Francais, Ospreys visit a rejuvenated Biarritz Olympique and top seeds Munster are will welcome Northampton back to Thomond Park.
Soon after the final matches from round six of the Heineken Cup were finished, Leinster also got a clearer picture of their path to the final. If they are to overcome Clermont in the quarter finals, Leinster will face off against the winner of the all French quarter final between Toulouse and Stade Francais.
The next round of Heineken Cup ties won’t take place until the 9th, 8th and 10th of April as the competition takes a break for the course of the 2010 Six Nations Championship. Between now and then, Leinster will have their minds firmly set on climbing up the league table, while the province’s Irish contingent called up for the Six Nations will be looking to defend their Champions crown.