English clubs handed away quarters


Published: Sunday 25th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Four English clubs have booked places in this season’s European Champions Cup quarter-finals – but all of them will be away from home.

Bath, Northampton, Wasps and Saracens progressed following a tense final weekend of pool stage action.

It is the first time since 1998 that four English clubs have made the last eight, but their combined task promises to be a considerable one.

Pool Four winners Bath, a place they clinched despite losing their opening two pool fixtures three months ago, will tackle three-time European champions Leinster in Dublin on the first weekend of April.

Aviva Premiership champions and current league leaders Northampton must travel to Clermont Auvergne after the Saints’ hopes of a home draw vanished with their 32-8 loss against Racing Metro on Saturday.

Racing will host last season’s European runners-up Saracens, who progressed among three best runners-up across five pools, despite losing their final Pool One encounter 18-6 against Clermont.

Saracens’ superior pool stage points difference meant they qualified at the expense of Pool Four runners-up Toulouse.

And fourth English qualifiers Wasps, runners-up in Pool Two, will head to European title holders Toulon, who were emphatic winners of Pool Three.

There will be an all-Aviva Premiership clash in the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals, meanwhile, with Exeter hosting Newcastle.

Elsewhere, top seeds Gloucester will tackle Connacht at Kingsholm, while London Irish host Edinburgh and there is a Welsh derby between Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues at Rodney Parade.

The Champions Cup semi-final draw pitched Toulon or Wasps against Leinster or Bath, and Clermont or Northampton against Racing Metro or Saracens, with t he first named clubs in each tie having home-country advantage.

Published: Sunday 25th January 2015 by The News Editor

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