Leinster will launch the defence of their Heineken Cup crown with an away trip to Montpellier in Round 1 on Saturday, 12 November, with the French tournament debutants taking the match to Stade de la Mosson, the 32,900-capacity home of League 1 football club Montpellier HSC.

Leinster will also play a fourth tournament match at the Aviva Stadium when they meet Bath Rugby in Round 4 on Saturday, 17 December. The champions have won all three previous games staged at the home of Irish rugby beating ASM Clermont Auvergne in a Pool match and Leicester Tigers and Toulouse in the knock-out stages last season on the way to their second Heineken Cup crown in three seasons.

ERC, the tournament organisers, today (Wednesday, 20 July) announced the fixtures, dates, kick-off times and host broadcasters for the opening four rounds of the 2011/2012 tournament.

English champions Saracens – who will welcome South Africa’s 2007 World Cup winning captain John Smit to the club in the autumn – will take their Round 3 clash with the Ospreys on Saturday, 10 December to London’s Wembley Stadium.

Connacht Rugby, who join Montpellier in making their Heineken Cup debut this season, will meet Amlin Challenge Cup holders Harlequins in Pool 6 on Friday, 11 November – the opening night of the 17th season of elite European club rugby action – before welcoming four-time champions Toulouse to Galway in Round 2 on Saturday, 19 November.

Harlequins face a tough away trip in Round 4 when they take on Toulouse at Le Stadium on Sunday, 18 December.

Northampton Saints, the 2011 finalists, will also be on the road in Round 1 as they travel to Thomond Park to meet the 2006 and 2008 Heineken Cup winners, Munster in Pool 1.

Aironi Rugby, the Italian franchise set for their second season in the competition, will have home advantage when they host former double champions Leicester Tigers at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella on the opening Saturday.

POOLS

POOL 1: Munster, Northampton Saints, Scarlets, Castres Olympique

POOL 2: Cardiff Blues, London Irish, Edinburgh, Racing Metro 92

POOL 3: Leinster, Bath Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Montpellier

POOL 4: Leicester Tigers, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ulster Rugby, Aironi Rugby

POOL 5: Biarritz Olympique, Ospreys, Saracens, Benetton Treviso

POOL 6: Toulouse, Harlequins, Gloucester Rugby, Connacht Rugby

FIXTURES

(All kick-offs LOCAL time with host broadcaster where relevant)

ROUND 1

FRIDAY, 11 NOVEMBER, 2011

Pool 2 Racing Metro 92 v Cardiff Blues 21.00 Canal+

Pool 6 Harlequins v Connacht Rugby 20.00 Sky Sports

SATURDAY, 12 NOVEMBER, 2011

Pool 1 Scarlets v Castres Olympique 15.00

Pool 1 Munster v Northampton Saints 18.00 Sky Sports

Pool 2 London Irish v Edinburgh 13.30 Sky Sports

Pool 3 Montpellier v Leinster (Stade de la Mosson) 14.30 Canal+

Pool 4 Aironi Rugby v Leicester Tigers 14.30 Sky Italia

Pool 4 Ulster Rugby v ASM Clermont Auvergne 15.40 Sky Sports

Pool 5 Ospreys v Biarritz Olympique 15.40 S4C

SUNDAY, 13 NOVEMBER, 2011

Pool 3 Glasgow Warriors v Bath Rugby 12.45 Sky Sports

Pool 5 Saracens v Benetton Treviso 15.00

Pool 6 Toulouse v Gloucester Rugby 16.00 FR2

ROUND 2

FRIDAY, 18 NOVEMBER, 2011

Pool 1 Northampton Saints v Scarlets 20.00 Sky Sports

Pool 2 Cardiff Blues v London Irish 20.00 S4C

Pool 2 Edinburgh v Racing Metro 92 20.00

Pool 4 ASM Clermont Auvergne v Aironi Rugby 21.00 Canal+

SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER, 2011

Pool 1 Castres Olympique v Munster 16.40 FR2

Pool 4 Leicester Tigers v Ulster Rugby 18.00 Sky Sports

Pool 5 Biarritz Olympique v Saracens 14.30 Canal+

Pool 5 Benetton Treviso v Ospreys 14.30 Sky Italia

Pool 6 Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins 15.40 Sky Sports

Pool 6 Connacht Rugby v Toulouse 18.00 Sky Sports

SUNDAY, 20 NOVEMBER, 2011

Pool 3 Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 12.45 Sky Sports

Pool 3 Bath Rugby v Montpellier 15.00 Sky Sports

ROUND 3

FRIDAY, 9 DECEMBER, 2011

Pool 2 Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh 20.00 S4C

Pool 4 Ulster Rugby v Aironi Rugby 19.30

Pool 6 Harlequins v Toulouse 20.00 Sky Sports

SATURDAY, 10 DECEMBER, 2011

Pool 1 Scarlets v Munster 15.40 Sky Sports

Pool 1 Castres Olympique v Northampton Saints 14.30 Canal+

Pool 2 Racing Metro 92 v London Irish 16.40 FR2

Pool 5 Benetton Treviso v Biarritz Olympique 14.30 Sky Italia

Pool 5 Saracens v Ospreys (Wembley Stadium) 18.00 Sky Sports

Pool 6 Connacht Rugby v Gloucester Rugby 13.30 Sky Sports

SUNDAY, 11 DECEMBER, 2011

Pool 3 Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 12.45 Sky Sports

Pool 3 Bath Rugby v Leinster 12.45 Sky Sports

Pool 4 ASM Clermont Auvergne v Leicester Tigers 16.00 FR2

ROUND 4

FRIDAY, 16 DECEMBER, 2011

Pool 2 Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 20.00 S4C

Pool 5 Ospreys v Saracens 20.00 Sky Sports

Pool 5 Biarritz Olympique v Benetton Treviso 21.00 Canal+

SATURDAY, 17 DECEMBER, 2011

Pool 2 London Irish v Racing Metro 92 15.00

Pool 3 Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 16.40 FR2

Pool 3 Leinster v Bath Rugby (Aviva Stadium) 18.00 Sky Sports

Pool 4 Leicester Tigers v ASM Clermont Auvergne 13.30 Sky Sports

Pool 4 Aironi Rugby v Ulster Rugby 14.30 Sky Italia

Pool 6 Gloucester Rugby v Connacht Rugby 15.40 Sky Sports

SUNDAY, 18 DECEMBER, 2011

Pool 1 Munster v Scarlets 12.45 Sky Sports

Pool 1 Northampton Saints v Castres Olympique 15.00 Sky Sports

Pool 6 Toulouse v Harlequins (Le Stadium) 16.00 FR2

ROUND 5

13 / 14 / 15 JANUARY, 2012

Pool 1 Munster v Castres Olympique

Pool 1 Scarlets v Northampton Saints

Pool 2 London Irish v Cardiff Blues

Pool 2 Racing Metro 92 v Edinburgh

Pool 3 Montpellier v Bath Rugby

Pool 3 Glasgow Warriors v Leinster

Pool 4 Aironi Rugby v ASM Clermont Auvergne

Pool 4 Ulster Rugby v Leicester Tigers

Pool 5 Ospreys v Benetton Treviso

Pool 5 Saracens v Biarritz Olympique

Pool 6 Toulouse v Connacht Rugby

Pool 6 Harlequins v Gloucester Rugby

ROUND 6

20 / 21 / 22 JANUARY, 2012

Pool 1 Castres Olympique v Scarlets

Pool 1 Northampton Saints v Munster

Pool 2 Cardiff Blues v Racing Metro 92

Pool 2 Edinburgh v London Irish

Pool 3 Bath Rugby v Glasgow Warriors

Pool 3 Leinster v Montpellier

Pool 4 ASM Clermont Auvergne v Ulster Rugby

Pool 4 Leicester Tigers v Aironi Rugby

Pool 5 Benetton Treviso v Saracens

Pool 5 Biarritz Olympique v Ospreys

Pool 6 Connacht Rugby v Harlequins

Pool 6 Gloucester Rugby v Toulouse

QUARTER-FINALS – 6 / 7 / 8 APRIL, 2012

SEMI-FINALS – 27 / 28 / 29 APRIL, 2012

17th HEINEKEN CUP FINAL – TWICKENHAM STADIUM – 19 / 20 MAY, 2012

ENDS

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