Tigers vs Toulouse, just unmissable

It will be a case of ‘French flair against English phlegm, in a shoot-out for a quarter-final spot’ when the Leicester Tigers take on Toulouse in the European Cup on Sunday.

This is how Paul Ackford, rugby correspondent for the Telegraph, describes the clash.

Throw in Munster vs Racing Metro and Saracens vs Edinburgh, as well as the consequences for reigning champions Leinster, and you have the makings of a seriously spicy Sunday!

The six pool winners (ranked one to six by number of points scored) and two best placed runners-up (ranked seven and eight) qualify for the quarter-finals of the European Cup. Teams ranked one to four have home advantage, with the make up of the quarter-finals being: Team 1 vs Team 8, Team 2 vs Team 7, Team 3 vs Team 6, and Team 4 vs Team 5.

Two-time defending champions Leinster defeated Exeter 29-20 on Saturday to stay alive, but face a nailbiting Sunday which could end their hopes of a fourth title in five years.

The Irish side finished second in Pool 5 behind runaway leaders Clermont and can only make the quarter-finals by claiming the remaining best runners-up spot after Montpellier booked their last-eight place earlier in the day by beating Toulon 23-3.

Leinster finished their group campaign with 20 points, but Irish rivals Munster can deny them a quarter-final spot if they score four tries and beat Racing Metro on Sunday, where Saracens are also expected to qualify by beating Edinburgh.

Last season’s beaten finalists Ulster rounded off their pool campaign with a first win over Castres (9-8). They top Pool 4 with 23 points, but will have to wait till the end of the weekend to see if they entertain their quarter-final opponents in Belfast.

Perhaps Super Rugby can learn something from this format? But that is the subject for a column in the near future … In the meantime, get the braai, biltong and coolerbox ready for a special day’s rugby viewing!

Click here for the latest European Cup logs

Sunday fixtures:
14:45 Munster vs Racing Metro 92, Thomond Park (Live, SS6)
14:45 Saracens vs Edinburgh, Vicarage Road
17:00 Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys, Stadio Comunale di Monigo
17:00 Leicester vs Toulouse, Welford Road (Live, SS6)