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Friday 29 August 2014

Leinster handed tricky Euro test

Published 10/06/2014 | 14:22

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Captain Jamie Heaslip has seen his Leinster side given a testing draw in Europe

RaboDirect PRO12 champions Leinster have been drawn in Pool Two of the new European Rugby Champions Cup.

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Matt O'Connor's side, who beat Glasgow 34-12 in the final last month, have been paired with Harlequins, Castres and Wasps.

Munster are in Pool One with Heineken Cup runners-up Saracens, Clermont Auvergne and Sale Sharks, which is arguably the hardest group.

Ulster will face Heineken Cup winners Toulon, Leicester and the Scarlets.

English champions Northampton Saints will be in Pool Five alongside Racing Metro, Ospreys and Treviso, while in Pool Four Glasgow will meet Bath, Montpellier and Toulouse.

The five pool winners and three best runners-up will secure quarter-final places.

The draw has also been made for the second-tier European Rugby Challenge Cup, with Connacht grouped alongside Exeter Chiefs, La Rochelle and Bayonne.

The European Rugby Champions Cup succeeds the Heineken Cup, which ran for 19 seasons and ended in Cardiff last month.

After almost two years of negotiations, a new competition was forged in April comprising nine stakeholders - the six unions of competing teams, plus Premiership Rugby, France's Ligue Nationale de Rugby and Regional Rugby Wales - in addition to the Challenge Cup and a third qualifying tournament.

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