Former Ireland and Ulster player Paddy Wallace rates his province’s chances of scoring an upset win over Leinster in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final in March.

Defending champions Leinster got a home draw in the last eight courtesy of securing top spot in Pool 1 and they were paired with their northern neighbours, who finished second in Pool 4 behind Racing 92.

The quarter-final fixtures will take place across the last weekend in March, after the Six Nations, and Wallace thinks there could be a shock on the cards.

"Very excited for Ulster to have gotten through the group stages and qualified for the knock-outs given the turmoil that the club was in last year," said the versatile back on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland, who played mainly at out-half and centre.

"A bit wary given that it’s against the best team in Europe at the minute in Leinster, who are a fantastic outfit with so much strength in depth and it’s certainly going to be a big test for Rory Best and his troops to go down to Dublin and try to get a result.

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"They’ll go as huge underdogs, but in provincial rugby these days you rarely see the strongest sides against each other because one squad is being rested.

"So it’s going to be two of the strongest squads available and Ulster have shown when they have had a full squad available, when they have had the likes of (Iain) Henderson and (Rory) Best, Marcell Coetzee, they can be competitive with anybody.

"Yes, they’ll be huge underdogs, but there’ll be no pressure on them to do down there to get a win. Rugby is a game with plenty of upsets, so hopefully for Ulster they can keep their season going in Europe."

Wallace tackled by current Leinster head coach Leo Cullen in the 2012 final

Wallace, who was part of Ireland’s 2009 Grand Slam winning team, famously giving away the late penalty that almost allowed Wales to snatch the prize away at the death in the last game, played in the 2012 European final loss to Leinster at Twickenham.

Though they were hammered 42-14 that day at Twickenham, Wallace says one of his fondest memories as a player was the quarter-final win.

"We had to go down to Thomond Park to qualify so it’s a similar test to what this Ulster side are facing," he said.

"We went to Thomond and got the victory and that’s one of my best moments in my rugby career, going down there in a European quarter-final and getting a win away from home.

"You’ll see the best of Ulster that against Leinster day whenever they go down there; they’re huge underdogs, but certainly can go down with no fear and try to pull out a performance for the ages."