Leinster begin defence against Exiles
July 23, 2009
Leo Cullen's Leinster kick off their Heineken Cup defence against London Irish © Getty Images
Heineken Cup champions Leinster will kick off their title defence with a huge contest against Guinness Premiership finalists London Irish on Friday October 9.
Leo Cullen's men won their first Heineken Cup with a 19-16 win over Leicester at Murrayfield in May, and will be hoping to progress from a pool featuring the Exiles, Scarlets and Brive.
European Rugby Cup Ltd (ERC), the governing body for Europe's premier club tournament, has announced the fixtures for the first four rounds of competition and there are plenty of marquee clashes on offer.
Also in the first round Guinness Premiership champions and last year's runners-up Leicester host the Ospreys at Welford Road while Cardiff Blues and Harlequins kick off the "group of death" at the new Cardiff City Stadium on October 10 before Sale take on Toulouse.
"With the quality of the teams competing packed with internationals players from across the globe, European rugby fans have a wealth of world-class rugby to look forward to when the 15th Heineken Cup kicks-off in October," said ERC chief executive Derek McGrath.
Heineken Cup Fixtures 2009:
Friday, 9 October, 2009
Pool Two: Gloucester v Newport Gwent Dragons 20.00
Saturday, 10 October, 2009
Pool One: Benetton Treviso v Perpignan 14.30
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Pool Three: Leicester Tigers v Ospreys 12.45
Friday, 16 October, 2009
Pool One: Perpignan v Northampton Saints 21.00
Saturday, 17 October, 2009
Pool One: Munster v Benetton Treviso 13.35
Sunday, 18 October, 2009
Pool Three: Ospreys v ASM Clermont Auvergne 12.45
Friday, 11 December, 2009
Pool One: Munster v Perpignan 20.00
Saturday, 12 December, 2009
Pool One: Northampton Saints v Benetton Treviso 15.00
Sunday, 13 December, 2009
Pool Two: Biarritz v Newport Gwent Dragons 13.45
Friday, 18 December, 2009
Pool Two: Newport Gwent Dragons v Biarritz 20.00
Saturday, 19 December, 2009
Pool One: Benetton Treviso v Northampton Saints 14.30
Sunday, 20 December, 2009
Pool 1 Perpignan v Munster 16.00
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action