Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Leicester Handed Tie with Old Foe

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Leicester Handed Tie with Old Foe

Article excerpt

Byline: By Andrew Baldock

Former European champions Leicester and Wasps will lead a triple English challenge in this season's Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Leicester's reward for beating reigning European champions Munster at Thomond Park ( a feat no visiting team had previously achieved in Limerick since the Heineken Cup began ( is a home tie against French championship leaders Stade Francais.

Wasps, meanwhile, will host Brian O'Driscoll and Leinster after winning Pool One with a 16-13 away success against Castres.

Elsewhere, Munster must now travel, tackling Llanelli Scarlets for the first time in European combat, while Guinness Premiership strugglers Northampton face a reunion with their Pool Six conquerors this season, Biarritz.

Leicester and Stade will meet for the eighth Heineken Cup occasion, a sequence which includes an epic 2001 final won by Tigers, and head coach Pat Howard is relishing what could be an enthralling encounter.

Howard said: "First of all, I am just delighted that we are into the last eight after coming through a tough pool.

"After losing our first game (against Munster), it was a fantastic effort from the squad to win five in a row and it was obviously a special night when we won in Limerick."

Tigers moved a 2005 semi-final against Toulouse and last season's quarter-final appointment with Bath to Leicester City's Walkers Stadium but, having lost on both occasions, Welford Road would be the choice of Leicester supporters, even though it has a considerably smaller capacity.

Stade are entitled to a 25% ticket allocation, and Leicester's board of directors will meet later this week to discuss the quarter-final venue.

Wasps are likely to keep their last-eight tie against Leinster at Adams Park in High Wycombe after reaching the knock-out phase for the first time since being crowned European champions in 2004. …

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