Munster face Harlequins in Heineken Cup

Munster will face Conor O’Shea’s ‘Quins side on the weekend of April 5-7 after securing one of the two best runners-up spots on offer, following their 29-6 victory in Thomond Park on Sunday.

Munster will face Conor O’Shea’s ‘Quins side on the weekend of April 5-7 after securing one of the two best runners-up spots on offer, following their 29-6 victory in Thomond Park on Sunday.

As well as aiming to secure a semi-final spot, Rob Penney’s charges will also be looking to avenge their shock Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final defeat at the hands ‘Quins at Thomond Park in 2011.

Munster’s record-equalling 14th quarter-final appearance is most likely to take place at Harlequins’ home ground, The Stoop, although the top-ranked club in this season’s Heineken Cup, could also be tempted to move it to a bigger venue such as Twickenham or Wembley in order to cash in on Munster’s huge support base.

The dates and kick-off time for the quarter-finals will be released later this week.

Munster will hope that talismanic second-row Paul O’Connell will have recovered from back surgery in time to feature in the quarter-final clash.

Should Munster defeat ‘Quins in early April, Penney’s men face a trip to France to take on either competition favourites Clermont Auvergne or surprise packets Montpellier at the semi-final stage on the weekend of April 26-28.

Heineken Cup quarter-final draw

1 Harlequins (1) v Munster (8)

2 Clermont (2) v Montpellier (7)

3 Toulon (3) v Leicester (6)

4 Saracens (4) v Ulster (5)

(To be played on the weekend of April 5-7)

Semi-final draw (home country advantage)

Saracens/Ulster v Toulon/Leicester

Clermont/Montpellier v Harlequins/Munster

(To be played on the weekend of April 26-28)