With a place in the semis at stake, the continent’s elite club competition is back and ready to entertain you…
Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals, from Saturday 30 March, BT Sport 3 HD (CH 529)
A battle for European supremacy is taking place – and we’re not talking about the B word. We’re talking about the Champions Cup, which has reached the quarter-final stage!
From magnificent Murrayfield to metropolitan Paris, European rugby’s superpowers are scrumming down for an unmissable weekend of action. And with all four matches live on BT Sport, you don’t have to miss a mud-splattered moment.
Can Saracens keep the English flag flying? Is there any stopping Leinster? Which French giant will provide a bit of ooh la la? Find out more about the cracking quartet of games heading your way on the box as we cast our eye over each clash.
Edinburgh v Munster
Saturday 30 March, 12pm, BT Sport 3 HD (CH 529)
Two-time winners Munster should canter into the semis, right? After all, they thrashed Edinburgh 44-14 in the Guinness Pro14 earlier this season and they’ve got Ireland internationals Conor Murray, Keith Earls and CJ Stander among their five-star squad. If only life was that simple. Edinburgh, who won more games than Munster in the pool stage, often save their best rugby for this competition, and they would send out a real statement to the rest of the continent if they beat the Irish titans at Murrayfield. This one’s got classic written all over it.
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors
Saturday 30 March, 3pm, BT Sport 3 HD (CH 529)
After playing each other twice in the pool stage of the tournament, Saracens and Glasgow go head to head once again in the quarter-finals. Sarries won all six of their games in the last round, including a 51-22 aggregate victory over the Scots. It’d be an almighty upset if the two-time champions of Europe are felled by the Warriors, but a couple of uncharacteristic defeats in the Gallagher Premiership this year confirm that even Owen Farrell and co have their off days.
Leinster v Ulster
Saturday 30 March, 5.30pm, BT Sport 3 HD (CH 529)
Two of Ireland’s biggest clubs go head to head in the grand sporting arena of Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. A convincing league win for Leinster back in January makes this competition’s defending champions the narrow favourites to prevail in this hugely anticipated clash. With superstar fly-half Johnny Sexton leading the charge, it’ll take something special to stop these serial winners. Can Ulster rise to the challenge? The visitors are more than capable, thanks to players like canny skipper Rory Best, lock Iain Henderson and quick-heeled winger Jacob Stockdale. Batten down the hatches.
Racing 92 v Toulouse
Sunday 31 March, 2.45pm, BT Sport 3 HD (CH 529)
The Champions Cup has been a cruel mistress to Racing. The French club has never won the competition, instead losing two finals in the past four years. Ouch. Gallic goliaths Toulouse, on the other hand, know what it takes to triumph as well as anyone. Along with Leinster, they hold the record for the most tournament wins, getting their bloodied and bruised hands on the trophy four times. Despite differing domestic fortunes (Toulouse are on course for the title, Racing are mid-table), the visitors only managed a slender victory over Racing when the teams met in February. It’s all to play for.
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