The exact dates, kick-off times and live television coverage for the decisive Round 5 and 6 fixtures in the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been announced by EPCR today.

With the five pool winners and the three best runners-up set to book their places in the quarter-finals of both tournaments, the tension-packed January matches will once again produce a dramatic conclusion to the pool stages.

With the incentive of earning a home quarter-final in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup added to the mix, the exact make-up and ranking of the qualifiers for the knockout stages won’t be decided until the final pool games on Sunday, 22 January 2017. From then on, the road to the Edinburgh finals at BT Murrayfield on 12 and 13 May will become clearer.

On Saturday January 14th, the Sportsground will host Zebre for the round 5 fixture with an early kick off of 1pm. Tickets are available here.

Eight days later, Pat Lam’s men will play Toulouse in the final pool game at the Stade Ernest Wallon in France. The round 6 clash will kick off at 4:15pm local time and will be broadcast on Sky Sports, beIN Sports and FR2.
5 things to know about the Champions Cup:

  • Before the new tournament format was introduced in 2014/15, no pool winner had qualified for the last eight in Europe’s top flight on less than 17 points since bonus points were introduced in 2003/04, however, Exeter Chiefs booked their place in last season’s Champions Cup quarter-finals with 16 points which indicates that there is still much to play for next month.
  • Leinster Rugby and Montpellier get Round 5 underway at the RDS Arena on Friday, 13 January live on Sky Sports. Both clubs have won one of their past three meetings with the other match drawn. Montpellier have lost on each of their two visits to Ireland in European club rugby’s elite tournament.
  • With the fixtures in the same Champions Cup pools kicking off at the same time in Round 6, and with all games televised live by either BT Sport, Sky Sports, beIN Sports, France Televisions or Sky Italia, the final weekend of the pool stage is certain to generate the customary nerve-tingling excitement.
  • The rescheduled Champions Cup match between Racing 92 and Munster Rugby on Saturday, 7 January will have a major bearing on the Pool 1 standings going into Rounds 5 and 6.
  • With qualification for the knockout stage at stake in Rounds 5 and 6, there’s plenty for supporters to get excited about. This season, the tournament has attracted over half a million fans through turnstiles across Europe.

 

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