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Heineken Cup: Tough draw for Saracens and Leicester

Last Updated: 19/01/14 6:46pm

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The Heineken Cup reaches the knockout stages

The Heineken Cup reaches the knockout stages

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Saracens could face Leicester in the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup after the draw was made for the knockout stages of the competition.

Both sides knew they would be away from home in the quarter-finals after they qualified as the two best runners-up after the group stages.

But they will face an uphill task if they are to progress in the competition, with just one in four sides drawn away in the last-eight making it through in past seasons.

Mark McCall will take his Saracens side to former club Ulster in the last-eight of the tournament, with Leicester facing Clermont Auvergne, who lead France's Top 14.

Only two sides - Munster in 2008 and fellow Irish side Leinster a year later - have played away from home at this stage of the Heineken Cup and gone on to lift the trophy.

Leicester's task becomes even more unenviable if you take into account that Clermont have now gone 71 consecutive matches unbeaten at home.

Meanwhile, defending champions Toulon, who have never been beaten at the Stade Mayol in the competition, will take on Leinster.

If Jonny Wilkinson's side claim victory, they will face the winners of the final quarter-final between Munster and Toulouse - a repeat of the 2008 decider - for a place in the final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on May 24.

Heineken Cup Quarter-Final draw:

Ulster v Saracens

Clermont Auvergne v Leicester

Toulon v Leinster

Munster v Toulouse

Ties to be played 4/5/6 April

Heineken Cup Semi-Final draw:

Ulster/Saracens v Clermont Auvergne/Leicester

Toulon/Leinster v Munster/Toulouse

Ties to be played 25/26/27 April

English sides appear to have more chance of success in the Amlin Challenge Cup, with five Aviva Premiership sides in the quarter-finals of European rugby's second-tier competition.

The standout tie is a repeat of the 2011 final, which saw Harlequins defeat Stade Francais 19-18 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

This time the two teams will do battle in Paris, with the winners drawn away to the victors of the quarter-final between Sale and Northampton.

Another all-English last-eight clash sees Wasps take on Gloucester - the victors will entertain either Bath or French side Brive for a place in the final at the Cardiff Arms Park on Friday 23 May.

Amlin Challenge Cup Quarter-Final draw:

Bath v Brive

Wasps v Gloucester

Stade Francais v Harlequins

Sale v Northampton

Ties to be played 3/4/5/6 April

Amlin Challenge Cup Semi-Final draw:

Wasps/Gloucester v Bath/Brive

Sale/Northampton v Stade Francais v Harlequins

Ties to be played 25/26/27 April

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