Munster's John Ryan is tackled by Dorian Aldegheri, left, and Francois Cros, both of Toulouse, during their Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 clash at Thomond Park last season
COMPETITION organisers EPCR have confirmed the venue for Munster Rugby's mouth-watering Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final clash with Toulouse next month.
Munster, who have home advantage for the game, will take on the competition holders at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on the weekend of May 6-8.
The EPCR will confirm the exact date and time for the quarter-final at a later date.
In a statement, Munster Rugby say that Thomond Park is not available from early May with Ed Sheeran concerts already confirmed for Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6 and it is not feasible to play a game on the pitch for the immediate weeks following the concerts.
The post on the Munster Rugby website continued: "In following tournament rules, on securing a Round of 16 place, alternative venue options within the province were reviewed for the next stage of knock-out games should they have proved necessary.
"No other available venues within Munster meet the operational needs of delivering a Champions Cup quarter-final game."
Commenting on the venue availability Chief Operating Officer Philip Quinn said, “On confirming the upcoming concert dates in September we were aware that they could clash with any potential home quarter-final stage in Europe.
“While it wasn’t a decision that was made lightly, we have been vocal in our support for securing large-scale concerts for the venue for several years. It has been nine years since we hosted concerts of this scale and we are fully aware of the huge economic benefit to the local economy, along with the stadium itself, that these concerts bring.
“We understand it’s frustrating for our committed and loyal support base, and we would love nothing more than to be playing in Thomond Park however this decision was made prior to the season commencing and came at a time when economic factors were central to the decision-making process given the impact of the pandemic.
“In advance of the Round of 16 matches we reviewed potential venue options within Munster and looked at our other home venue Musgrave Park. The capacity there does not meet the 15k attendance criteria for a quarter-final and we would be unable to fulfil our obligations for our priority ticketing groups, commercial partners and the visiting team.
“Several GAA grounds are already in use for that same period and with only three weeks to deliver a quarter-final event no other available venues within the province meet the operational needs and facilities of what is required in such a short timeframe.
“We are now working through our plans to make our quarter-final as accessible as possible to all our supporters and will confirm details of these plans in the coming days once EPCR confirm the fixture details for the Aviva.”
Quarter-finals – May 6-8
QF 1: Racing 92 v Sale Sharks, Paris La Défense Arena
QF 2: Stade Rochelais v Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Stade Marcel-Deflandre
QF 3: Munster Rugby v Stade Toulousain, Aviva Stadium
QF 4: Leicester Tigers v Leinster Rugby, Mattioli Woods Welford Road
Semi-finals – May 13-15
The highest-ranked clubs from the pool stage will have home venue advantage.
SF 1: Racing 92 (A1) or Sale Sharks (A5) v Stade Rochelais (A3) or Montpellier Hérault Rugby (A7)
SF 2: Leicester Tigers (B1) or Leinster Rugby (A4) v Munster Rugby (B3) or Stade Toulousain (B7)
2022 Heineken Champions Cup final: Saturday, May 28; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille (17.45)
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