Dan Sheehan and Leinster take on Irish rivals, Ulster, at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday as the Vodacom Bulls lace up against French side, Stade Toulousain as the South Africans make their debut appearance in the competition this season. Jake White’s herd travel to France feeling confident at the back of their trip to Ulster, having shown signs of regaining their confidence and building signs of good momentum, which will bolster their chances in these stages of the tournament.
Round of 16 notes
• The elite qualifiers for the Round of 16 have a total of 27 EPCR titles between them.
• Eight former tournament winners – Exeter Chiefs, Leicester Tigers, Leinster Rugby, Munster Rugby, Saracens, Stade Rochelais, Stade Toulousain and Ulster Rugby – remain in contention to lift the coveted silverware in Dublin on 20 May.
• The Cell C Sharks, the DHL Stormers and the Vodacom Bulls will have their first taste of Heineken Champions Cup knockout rugby this weekend.
• Antoine Hastoy of holders, Stade Rochelais who are at home against Gloucester Rugby, is the tournament’s leading scorer with 50 points going into the knockout stage while last season’s EPCR Player of the Year, Josh van der Flier, heads the try-scoring charts with five from his four matches.
• Following the conclusion of the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage, four clubs qualified for the EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16: Lyon, Racing 92, ASM Clermont Auvergne and Sale Sharks.
• Zach Mercer of Montpellier Hérault Rugby, who travel to face the Exeter Chiefs, has made the most carries to date with an impressive 78.
• A total of 24 Round of 16 Heineken Champions Cup matches have been played to date with 12 home wins and 12 away wins.
• Damian Willemse of the DHL Stormers and Nick Davids of Harlequins, who face off in Cape Town, have made the most offloads (10) and beaten the most defenders (20) respectively
EPCR knock-out fixtures breakdown (c) EPCR Mediathis season. In addition, the Quins openside, Will Evans, leads the turnovers category with nine.
• Ben Youngs of Leicester Tigers, who kick off the Round of 16 against Edinburgh Rugby at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Friday evening live on BT Sport and SuperSport, is in line to make his 75th tournament appearance if included in the match day 23.
• Munster Rugby’s Gavin Coombes is the leading tackler so far with 67 from four matches.
• Extra time and, if necessary, a place kick competition will feature in the event of tied matches during the knockout stage of the tournament.
ROUND OF I6
31/03/2023 – 20:00 – Leicester Tigers vs Edinburgh Rugby | Mattioli Woods Welford Road
01/04/2023 – 13:30 – Cell C Sharks vs Munster Rugby | Hollywoodbets Kings Park
01/04/2023 – 16:00 – DHL Stormers vs Harlequins | DHL Stadium
01/04/2023 – 18:30 – Stade Rochelais vs Gloucester Rugby | Stade Marcel Deflandre
01/04/2023 – 17:30 – Leinster Rugby vs Ulster Rugby | Aviva Stadium
02/04/2023 – 12:30 – Exeter Chiefs vs Montpellier Hérault Rugby | Sandy Park
02/04/2023 – 15:00 – Saracens vs Ospreys | StoneX Stadium
02/04/2023 – 16:00 – Stade Toulousain vs Vodacom Bulls | Le Stadium
QUARTER-FINALS – 7/8/9 APRIL
(Pool stage rankings in brackets)
QF1: Leinster (Al) or Ulster (B8) v Leicester (B4) or Edinburgh (A5)
QF 2: Stade Toulousain (B2) or Vodacom Bulls (A7) v Sharks (A3) or Munster (B6)
QF3: Exeter (A2) or Montpellier (B7) v Stormers (B3) or Harlequins (A6)
QF 4: Stade Rochelais (B1) or Gloucester (A8) v Saracens (A4) or Ospreys (B5)
NB – The highest-ranked clubs from the pool stage will have home advantage
SEMI-FINALS – 28/29/30 APRIL
SF1: Winner OF 1v Winner OF 2
SF 2: Winner OF 3 v Winner OF 4
2023 HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP FINAL: Saturday 20 May – Aviva Stadium, Dublin