Leinster in tough pool for next season’s Heineken Cup

Leinster in tough pool for next season’s Heineken Cup

A lot for the elevated standing of Leinster as this 12 months’s European champions and one of many protected high seeds for next season’s Heineken Cup.

Coach Leo Cullen and his aspect face former winners Wasps, Toulouse and Bath following Wednesday’s draw in Switzerland. Collectively the 4 groups have received the competitors 11 instances, greater than all the groups in all the different swimming pools mixed.

With 4 wins for Leinster and Toulouse, who final received the trophy in 2010, two for Wasps and one for Bathtub in 1997-98, Pool One appears something like a straightforward run for the Irish aspect.

Nonetheless, champions Leinster have been put in as event favourites at 9-Four, with Munster, who share Pool 2 with French Top 14 champions Castres and Premierships sides Exeter and Gloucester, priced at 14-1.

It was Gloucester who suffered a 33-6 defeat towards Munster in Limerick in what’s now referred to as the miracle match in 2003. The Irish aspect wanted a four-try victory by a minimal margin of 27 factors to succeed in the quarter-finals at Gloucester’s expense they usually did it.

“Wasps, who we had a couple of very tough outings against in the pool stages a couple of years ago, so we know how tough a team they are,” mentioned Leinster coach Cullen. “Toulouse have won the tournament four times, so they know how to do it. All the teams in our pool have won the tournament before.”

Again to Eire

The go to of Parisian aspect Racing 92’ to Ulster will even carry lock Donnacha Ryan and Simon Zebo again to Eire for the primary time because the pair left Munster.

Zebo, who introduced he was leaving the province in January and Ryan who departed in Could of final 12 months, will face Ulster, Leicester, who most just lately received the trophy 16 years in the past, and 2017 Professional 14 league winners Scarlets in Pool Four of the competitors.

Ulster might be a aspect to look at for numerous causes, not least of all their end-of-season playoff with Ospreys simply to qualify for next season’s competitors and in addition the arrival of recent coach and former Connacht participant Dan McFarland. McFarland will substitute the departing Jono Gibbes on a three-year contract.

The primary rounds of the Heineken Cup and European Problem Cup might be run over October 12th/13th/14th, and though the membership fixtures for that weekend haven’t but been made it leaves open the chance for Zebo and Ryan to play in Belfast on the primary weekend.

Leinster will even should take care of the rugby intelligence former backs coach Girvan Dempsey brings to Bathtub. The previous Leinster and Eire fullback introduced he was leaving Leinster on the finish of this season.

Capped 82 instances, Dempsey took up a job as Leinster’s Academy supervisor, with numerous the present technology of Leinster stars coming by way of below his watchful eye. He was appointed backs coach in 2015, and has as a lot data of Leinster rugby as anybody, together with Cullen.

Destined

“We made a presentation to Girvan [Dempsey] at the end of the season so we knew we were destined to draw against Bath,” mentioned Cullen. “Anybody that has been a part of the workforce right here, once they transfer elsewhere you all the time want them the perfect however you hope they don’t come again to hang-out you.

“Bathtub have a really robust teaching group. I used to be fortunate sufficient to spend a while with Todd Blackadder when he was teaching the Canterbury Crusaders. They’re a extremely good bunch of individuals over there, so will probably be an amazing problem for us.”

Wasp have made some robust signings through the summer season, England free ahead Brad Shields and Lima Sopoaga in explicit. Sopoaga, a 26-year-old outhalf, has performed 16 instances for the All Blacks, whereas former Leinster outhalf Jimmy Gopperth continues to be taking part in.

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