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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 21 October, 2014

English opposition for three Irish provinces in opening fixtures of Champions Cup

And Connacht will host La Rochelle in the Challenge Cup.

Paul O'Connell leaves the field after Munster beat Sale in 2009.
Paul O'Connell leaves the field after Munster beat Sale in 2009.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

AFTER THE POOL draw was made in June, the new European Rugby Champions Cup has today released its fixture schedule for the coming season.

Semi-finalists in the two most recent Heineken Cups, Munster will start the new look competition away to Sale Sharks on October 18 with the tie of the round coming in the same pool  later that day in the form of Saracens v Clermont.

Ulster are also in England on the opening weekend, their clash with familiar foes Leicester will be the late kick-off on the Saturday night. Leinster will have to wait until Sunday October 19 to begin their assault on the new European competition when Wasps visit the RDS. The opening round fixtures will again be reversed in round six.

English opposition for three Irish provinces in opening fixtures of Champions Cup
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The December head-to-heads have also thrown up some mouthwatering clashes: Munster will face off against Clermont twice in a week, Leinster will do the same with Harlequins while Ulster face Llanelli.

The new Challenge Cup fixtures were also released today with Connacht pitted against La Rochelle in the opening Pool 2 match at the Sportsground (KO 17.00 October 18).

Round two will take Pat Lam’s side to Exeter with a bruising December head-to-head promised against Bayonne.

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