Rugby Union: Ulster's game is put back

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The Independent Online
THE EUROPEAN Cup semi-final between Ulster and Stade Francais has been put back to Saturday 9 January after the French club objected to playing on the previous Friday night.

The Stade Francais president, Max Guazzini, faxed the tournament director, Roger Pickering, with a letter of complaint on Tuesday, saying that playing on Friday 8 January would prevent the match being shown on French television. Guazzini also claimed that the Ravenhill ground was too small to stage such a high-profile game, but Pickering allayed those fears by announcing that extra seating had been arranged.

"After protracted negotiations it has been decided to change the date and kick-off time of the European Cup semi-final between Ulster and Stade Francais from 7.15pm on 8 January to 1pm the following day," Pickering said. The change of plan means that French rugby supporters can get a double dose of live rugby action with Colomiers meeting Perpignan in Toulouse in the other semi-final.