TOP BAR - Fixtures

European quarter-finals dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage

As the RBS 6 Nations takes centre stage in the coming weeks, fans of the elite European club game will be able to look forward to even more world-class action in April when the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals get underway.

The knockout stages of the tournaments mark the beginning of the end of the journey to the 2016 finals in May when the two showcase matches will be staged at the state-of-the-art 59,000-capacity Grand Stade de Lyon.

The Champions Cup quarter-finals kick off on Saturday, 9 April with Wasps, the last Aviva Premiership club to win the coveted title in 2007, taking on the Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh Arena.

That clash of the two-time champions against the first-timers in the knockout stage will be followed by the meeting of No 1 seeds Saracens, who have reached the last eight for the fifth season in a row, and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park.

On Sunday, 10 April, Leicester Tigers host Stade Francais Paris at Welford Road in what promises to be another classic Anglo-French contest. Tigers have booked their ticket to the quarter-finals for the 13th time – two behind the record held jointly by Toulouse and Munster Rugby – while Stade are appearing in the last eight for the first time since 2010.

The road to Lyon will be clearer when Racing 92 and reigning champions, RC Toulon, meet at Stade Yves-du-Manoir in an all-French confrontation which could see recent World Cup winners, Dan Carter and Ma'a Nonu going head-to-head.

A major weekend of knockout rugby will commence with the first of the Challenge Cup quarter-finals between Sale Sharks and Montpellier at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday, 8 April, with holders Gloucester Rugby, who are on a record run of 15 victories in the tournament, up against the Newport Gwent Dragons at Kingsholm the following day.

All eight quarter-finals will be broadcast live with the coverage shared by BT Sport, Sky Sports, beIN Sports and France Télévisions.

European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Saturday 9 April
QF2: Wasps v Exeter Chiefs, Ricoh Arena (15.15) BT Sport / beIN Sports
QF1: Saracens v Northampton Saints, Allianz Park (17.45) Sky Sports / beIN Sports

Sunday 10 April
QF4: Leicester Tigers v Stade Francais Paris, Welford Road (13.45) BT Sport / beIN Sports
QF3: Racing 92 v RC Toulon, Stade Yves-du-Manoir (17.15) FR 2 / Sky Sports / beIN Sports

Semi-final 1: Saracens or Northampton Saints v Wasps or Exeter Chiefs
Semi-final 2: Racing 92 or RC Toulon v Leicester Tigers or Stade Francais Paris
(Matches to be played on 23/24 April)

Champions Cup final: Saturday, 14 May; Grand Stade de Lyon (17.45)
 
European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Friday 8 April
QF3: Sale Sharks v Montpellier, AJ Bell Stadium (19.45) Sky Sports / beIN Sports

Saturday 9 April
QF4: Gloucester Rugby v Newport Gwent Dragons, Kingsholm (12.45) Sky Sports
QF1: Harlequins v London Irish, Twickenham Stoop (20.05) BT Sport
QF2: Grenoble v Connacht Rugby, Stade des Alpes (21.05) FR 4 / BT Sport / beIN Sports

Semi-final 1: Harlequins or London Irish v Grenoble or Connacht Rugby
Semi-final 2: Sale Sharks or Montpellier v Gloucester Rugby or Newport Gwent Dragons
(Matches to be played on 22/23/24 April)

Challenge Cup final: Friday, 13 May; Grand Stade de Lyon (21.00)

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