Cullen: “Home quarter a massive reward for our supporters”
January 23, 2017 3:25 pm Marcus Ó Buachalla
Speaking after the conclusion of the pool stages Cullen outlined just what this meant to the club and the supporters.
“Qualifying for a home quarter-final in the Champions Cup is something that this club always strives for.
“Securing a home quarter-final is also a massive reward for our supporters who have been magnificent both home and away over the six rounds and I am delighted for them that they have another European game at home to get behind the team.
“We have needed them at every stage so far and will need them again on the first weekend in April.
“These Champions Cup quarter-final games often come down to the smallest of margins on the day.”
Cullen also reflected on the task at hand taking on a Wasps team that beat Leinster twice last season and that have kicked on again this season with only two defeats to their name in the Aviva Premiership.
There is also the familiarity that the likes of old Leinster favourites Jimmy Gopperth, Brendan Macken and most recently Marty Moore will bring and the need for this Leinster team to keep improving.
“After playing Wasps twice in last season’s Champions Cup we are fully aware of the tough challenge that awaits us. Dai Young has recruited heavily once again during the summer and his team are currently sitting at the top of the Aviva Premiership.
“We know as a group that we need to continue to improve to ensure we are able to give a true account of our abilities.
“Reaching the last eight is fantastic but it is just another step towards the club’s goal of replicating Toulouse’s achievement of winning four European titles.
“It’s a challenge that we are all looking forward to hugely.”
Leinster Rugby will host Wasps on the weekend of the 31st March 2017 in Aviva Stadium having topped their pool and finished as the 4th best ranked team. Tickets for the quarter-final will go on public sale on Tuesday, 7th February at leinsterrugby.ie/tickets.
The full Champions Cup quarter-final fixture list is as below (ranking in brackets):
QF1: Clermont (1) v Toulon (8)
QF2: Leinster Rugby (4) v Wasps (5)
QF3: Munster Rugby (2) v Toulouse (7)
QF4: Saracens (3) v Glasgow Warriors (6)
As a result of the draw above, the Champions Cup semi-final pairings have also been mapped out as follows, with games scheduled for the weekend of 21st April 2017:
SF1: winner of QF1 v winner of QF2
SF2: winner of QF3 v winner of QF4
The format for the semi-final matches in the Champions Cup recognises performances by clubs during the pool stage as well as the achievement of winning a quarter-final match away from home.
The semi-final matches will be played at venues designated by EPCR, and as a result should Leinster win against Wasps they would be away in France to either Clermont or Toulon as Leinster were ranked number four in the ranking with Clermont ranked one and Toulon eight.
The 2017 Champions Cup Final is on in BT Murrafield on Saturday, 13th May 2017 at 5.00pm.