Leinster face La Rochelle in the quarters

Croke Park will host its first rugby game in 15 years if Leinster make the Champions Cup semi-finals this season.

Leinster are set to face their old enemy La Rochelle in the last eight in the European competition. The French club have beaten Leinster in the last two finals of the tournament. However, the two clubs played each other in the pool stage this season and Leinster came out on top.

Read more: Champions Cup fixtures

Leinster beat Leicester Tigers in the last 16 to reach the quarter-finals. Defending champions La Rochelle had a tougher last 16 clash, having to fight back to beat the Stormers 22-21.

Mind games have already been afoot in the clash with Leinster delaying their team news announcement. “We didn’t want our team to get out and them to prepare, because they have like 14 analysts so the moment your team is out they can take a player and pull the profile of the game,” Leinster coach Nienaber said.

The Irish outfit face La Rochelle in the quarters this Saturday. If they overcome them they will host the winner of Northampton Saints v Vodacom Bulls.

Croke Park last hosted a rugby match in 2009 when Munster lost to Leinster in the Heineken Cup semi-final. The iconic ground would be used in the semis as the Aviva Stadium is being readied for the Europa League final.

Possible venues depending on quarter-final outcomes:

  • Stade Toulousain (1) v Union Bordeaux-Bègles (4) or Harlequins (5) – Le Stadium, Toulouse (capacity: 33,150)
  • Leinster Rugby (2) v Northampton Saints (3) or Vodacom Bulls (6) – Croke Park, Dublin (capacity: 82,300)
  • Northampton Saints (3) v Stade Rochelais (10) – Stadium MK, Milton Keynes (capacity: 30,500)
  • Union Bordeaux-Bègles (4) v Exeter Chiefs (8) – Matmut ATLANTIQUE, Bordeaux (capacity: 42,100).
  • Harlequins (5) v Exeter Chiefs (8) – Ashton Gate Stadium (capacity: 27,000)
  • Vodacom Bulls (6) v Stade Rochelais (10) – UK venue TBC

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