Heineken Cup fixtures will be announced on Thursday
17 July 2009 17:02pm
By Angelina Lacroix
The fixtures for the first four Rounds of the 15th Heineken Cup will be announced on ercrugby.com on Thursday next, 23 July 2009 at 12 noon (UK & Irish time).
Leinster became the ninth Heineken Cup champions when they defeated Leicester last May - and they will be joined in next season's tournament by all but one of those previous eight winners.
The returns of Brive (1997) and Northampton Saints (2000) - qualifying as the sixth French and European Challenge Cup winners respectively - mean that only former double champions London Wasps will be absent from the elite 24 European teams in the 2009/10 tournament that will climax at Stade de France with the 15th tournament final to be played on Saturday, 22 May, 2010.
Toulouse, Brive, Bath Rugby, Ulster Rugby, Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers and Munster will all be there as Leinster go about the business of defending their crown on the weekend of 9/10/11 October.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.