Leinster’s crunch Champions Cup semi-final showdown with Toulouse confirmed for Aviva

Leinster’s mouthwatering Heineken Champions Cup semi-final showdown with Toulouse will take place at the Aviva Stadium, next Saturday, May 14 at 3pm.

he eagerly-anticipated showdown between the defending, five-time champions and Leinster, who are chasing their fifth star, has been given top billing on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Ronan O’Gara will look to guide La Rochelle back to the European final for the second consecutive season, when they take on their French rivals Racing 92 next Sunday.

Racing have home advantage, but the Parisians will not be able to play at La Defense Arena, as it is unavailable. That means Racing will take on La Rochelle in Lens at Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

Leinster last faced Toulouse in the semi-final three years ago, on a day Cullen’s men convincingly booked their place in the decider by winning 30-12 at the Aviva Stadium.

The two teams also met twice in that same 2018/19 pool stages, with Toulouse winning by a point at home before Leinster bounced back at the RDS, and then won again at the Aviva in the knockout stages.

Having seen off (23-14) Premiership leaders Leicester at Welford Road on Saturday, Leinster will be quietly confident of seeing off the French giants after their dramatic penalty shootout win over Munster, as Toulouse get set to return to Dublin for the second week running.

“Toulouse look incredibly dangerous,” Cullen warned.

“Their half-backs (Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack) are two of the best players in the world at the moment. They have a big, powerful pack as well who get them on the front foot.

“They’re a very dangerous team and it’s an unbelievable challenge for our guys but that’s what we want. It’s a huge week ahead. Hopefully we’ll get a big crowd at the Aviva and we’ll need every bit of energy we can get from that.”

La Rochelle eased past Montpellier 31-19, while Racing comfortably got the better of Sale 41-22, who had Dubliner AJ MaGinty sin-binned late on, in Paris to set up a meeting with two Munster men.

O’Gara and Munster’s incoming attack coach Mike Prendergast will lock horns in what promises to be a fascinating tactical battle, as three French sides and Leinster make up the last four of the Champions Cup.

Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals

Saturday, May 14

Leinster v Toulouse, Aviva Stadium, 3.0, Live on BT Sport

Sunday, May 15

Racing 92 v La Rochelle, Stade Bollaert-Delelis, 3.0 (Irish time), Live on Bt Sport, Virgin Media & Channel 4.

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