Tuesday 21 November 2017

In brief: Leinster to kick off Euro weekend

DEFENDING champions Leinster will kick-start the Heineken Cup quarter-finals weekend with when they take on Clermont Auvergne on Friday, April 9, (8.0) at the RDS.

Munster will host Northampton Saints at Thomond Park the following evening (5.30), with both Irish provinces having decided to spurn big-money switches to Croke Park.

The second Saturday game will see Biarritz taking on Ospreys at the Estadio Anoeta in San Sebastian. The quarter-finals will be concluded on Sunday, April 11, with the all-French clash between Toulouse and Stade Francais.

In the Amlin Challenge Cup, Connacht will entertain Bourgoin on Saturday, April 10.

Toulon face a Saturday night home tie against Scarlets, while the Wasps v Gloucester and Newcastle v Cardiff Blues matches will be played the following day.

Heineken Cup quarter-finals:

Friday April 9: Leinster v Clermont Auvergne, 8.0

Saturday April 10: Biarritz v Ospreys, 5.30; Munster v Northampton, 5.30

Sunday April 11: Toulouse v Stade Francais Paris, 5.30

Semi-finals: May 12

Final: May 22, Stade de France, 6.0

Hala'ufia cited over clash with Cullen

London Irish forward Chris Hala'ufia has been cited for an alleged punch during the Exiles' Heineken Cup clash against Leinster at Twickenham on Saturday.

Hala'ufia has been reported by match citing commissioner Jean-Claude Legendre for an alleged strike on Leinster skipper Leo Cullen. He will face a disciplinary hearing in Dublin tomorrow.

Bath's Danny Grewcock will appear before the same hearing after being sent off for stamping on Ulster's Stephen Ferris during Bath's 28-10 Heineken Cup defeat, while Biarritz second-row Jerome Thion must answer a charge of allegedly punching Glasgow lock Richie Gray last Saturday.

Best signs deal with Warriors

Worcester have announced the signing of Ireland flanker Neil Best from their Guinness Premiership rivals Northampton.

Best (30) has agreed a two-year deal with the Warriors, with an option for a third year, and will move to Sixways in time for next season.

Best has 18 caps and made more than 100 appearances for Ulster before joining Northampton in 2008.

Sale's Wigglesworth in Saracens switch

Saracens have followed up their signing of Matt Stevens by recruiting another England international -- Sale scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth.

The 26-year-old, who has won five Test caps, will link up with Saracens in time for next season.

Irish Independent

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