Short turnaround leaves Leinster up against it
LEINSTER's difficult Heineken Cup mission was confirmed yesterday as the ERC handed them a five-day turnaround between their clashes with Castres and the Ospreys, WRITES RUAIDHRI O'CONNOR.
Although Northampton Saints also have to play on the same nights -- meaning the three-time champions do not cede any advantage to their pool rivals -- it means they are working at a disadvantage when it comes to claiming a home quarter-final based on their pool finish.
Matt O'Connnor (above) takes his side to the Stade Pierre Antoine on Sunday, January 12 and then host the Ospreys on Friday, January 17.
Munster have an eight-day window in which to recover from their clash with Gloucester on Saturday, January 11 before facing Edinburgh at Thomond Park with the match kicking off at the dreaded 12.45.
Ulster will kick off Round 3 with their home clash against Montpellier at Ravenhill on Friday, January 10 and they then get prime-time billing for their final Pool game against Leicester Tigers on Saturday, January 18 at Welford Road with a 6.0 kick-off.
Connacht will start that day's proceedings with their visit to Saracens, while their game against Zebre will take place on January 11.
Friday, January 10
Ulster v Montpellier, Ravenhill, 8.0.
Saturday, January 11
Connacht v Zebre, Sportsground, 3.40; Gloucester v Munster, Kingsholm, 6.0.
Sunday, January 12
Castres v Leinster, Stade Pierre Antoine, 12.45.
Friday, January 17
Leinster v Ospreys, RDS, 8.0.
Saturday, January 18
Saracens v Connacht, Allianz Park, 1.35, Leicester Tigers v Ulster, Welford Road, 6.0.
Sunday, January 19
Munster v Edinburgh, Thomond Park 12.45.