Heineken Cup: Leicester Tigers travel to Ulster to kick-off new season of European rugby as Round One and Two fixtures are announced

Other standout matches include Ospreys v Leinster and Racing Metro v Clermont while the second round will kick off with Saracens entertaining Toulouse in the first ever Friday night rugby match at Wembley

The first and second round fixtures of the 2013/14 Heineken Cup pool stages have been announced, with the European tournament set to kick-off with a mouth-watering tie between Ulster and Leicester Tigers.

The match will take place at Ravenhill on Friday October 11, with both sides reaching the quarter-final stage last season. Ulster remains one of the toughest away trips in European rugby, and the match will be an early test of where the reigning Aviva Premiership champions stand this season.

The match is one of three games to launch the new campaign on the Friday night, with Saracens set to travel to Connacht and four-times champions Toulouse to host Italian minnows Zebre.

Saturday will feature six matches starting with Edinburgh as they host two-time winners Munster in the early kick-off, while Benetton Treviso will entertain Montpellier at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

Harlequins will host the Llanelli Scarlets at the Twickenham Stoop, while Northampton Saints – who will be armed this season with Lions winner George North and the entertaining Kahn Fotuali’I – travel to face Top 14 champions Castres.

The final two games on Saturday features an all-RaboDirect Pro12 clash between the Ospreys and league champions Leinster, and Gloucester host Perpignan at Kingsholm.

Sunday is made up of three games kicking-off with Exeter Chiefs v Cardiff Blues, who will be without Lions skipper Sam Warburton and possibly Leigh Halfpenny as he considers his future. Reigning champions Toulon will get their defence of the cup underway against Glasgow Warriors, with Jonny Wilkinson and Co looking to become the third team to successfully defend the title after Leicester and Leinster.

And the opening weekend wraps-up with an all-French tie between Racing Metro, who will boast both Jonathan Sexton and Jamie Roberts, against last year’s runners-up Clermont Auvergne.

The second round gets underway with a bang at Wembley Stadium as Saracens welcome Toulouse in the first ever rugby match to be played at Wembley on a Friday night. Leicester are also in action against Treviso in the first European match of the season at Welford Road.

Cardiff and Toulon meet on Saturday afternoon to begin another thrilling day of Heineken Cup rugby, while Zebre welcome Connacht to the Stadio XXV Aprile. Leinster host Castres at the RDS in a battle of the champions as Ireland meets France, and the rivalry is stoked further when Montpellier entertain Ulster.

Saturday ends with Racing Metro travelling to Wales to face the Scarlets, while Munster welcome Gloucester to Thomond Park in a replication of one of the great matches of European rugby.

Sunday arrives with a bumper four-game schedule, starting with Northampton facing the Osprey’s at Franklin’s Gardens while Perpignan welcome Edinburgh to the south of France.

And the weekend comes to a close when Exeter make the trip North to meet Glasgow, and Clermont Auvergne will give a famous hostile reception to Harlequins when they meet at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there