/ Rugby

Leinster to face Clermont again and newcomers Exeter in Heineken Cup

Updated: Tuesday, 12 Jun 2012 17:03 | Comments

Leinster are seeking a fourth win in five years in Europe's premier club competition
Leinster are seeking a fourth win in five years in Europe's premier club competition

Defending Champions Leinster will once again face Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup after being matched with the French side in Tuesday's pool draw.

Leinster beat Clermont in a dramatic semi-final on their way to claiming European rugby’s top trophy.

Joe Schmidt’s side have also been grouped with Welsh outfit Scarlets and English side Exeter, who will be making their Heineken Cup debut.

Beaten finalists Ulster will expect to progress from their pool after being drawn alongside Northampton, Glasgow and Castres in Pool 4.

Two-times Champions Munster will also be confident of making it to the knockout stages. They face English side Saracens, Edingburgh and Racing Metro.

Connacht have again been paired with Conor O’Shea’s Harlequins. Connacht famously denied the English side a place in last season’s knockout stage with a defiant victory at the Sportsground.

The Galway based side will also take on French giants Biarritz and Italy’s new formed Zebre, who replace Aironi Rugby in the competition.

Pool 1: Munster, Edinburgh, Saracens, Racing Metro 92

Pool 2: Toulouse, Leicester, Ospreys, Benetton Treviso

Pool 3: Biarritz, Harlequins, Connacht, Zebre

Pool 4: Northampton, Ulster, Glasgow Warriors, Castre

Pool 5: Leinster, Clermont Auvergne, Scarlets, Exeter

Pool 6: Cardiff Blues, Toulon, Sale, Montpellier

The ERC has confirmed the kick off times for the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Finals, both of which will be staged in Dublin next year.

The Challenge Cup final will take place at the RDS on Friday May 17 and will have a 8pm kick off while the Aviva Stadium will be the venue for the Heineken decider the following afternoon with a 5pm start.

The chief executive of the tournament organisers Derek McGrath has confirmed that the allocation of tickets released for public sale for the Heineken Cup final has already sold out. 

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