The fixtures for the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals have been revealed and there is a glaring fault with the scheduling. 


In what is usually a veritable feast of top drawer European rugby with four matches played over the one weekend, fans have been put into a position where they can only watch two of the three matches scheduled on the Saturday live due to a fixtures clash. 

Exeter Chiefs host Northampton Saints on April 4 at 15:15 to kick the quarter-finals weekend off, but Clermont’s contest with Racing 92 at the Stade Marcel Michelin will start at the same time (16:15 French time). 

The mouth-watering affair between last season’s finalists Leinster and Saracens at the Aviva Stadium then begins at 17:45. 

Viewers are in a position where there is absolutely no way to watch all three matches live due to the clash. This is new territory as such scheduling has never been made before. 

Either matches straddled the Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the past, or kick-offs have been earlier on the Saturday if there were three matches on the same day.


As expected, this has been met with utter disbelief by fans, as the decision to deprive them of watching all four matches live seems bizarre. 

While we do live in an age of catch-up TV, it will be hard for devoted fans to avoid the result of a match they have been forced to forgo watching live. 


There have consequently been calls for a change of schedule to overcome this problem, particularly given the calibre of all matches on offer.

Even though there is no such problem on the Sunday, there have still been complaints that the match between the two teams furthest apart from one another starts so late.

Toulouse host Ulster at Le Stadium, home of Toulouse Football Club, at 15:15 (16:15 local time) which is tough on those fans travelling from Ireland on a Sunday. 

While this may be the age of outrage, fans are completely justified in this situation.   

WATCH: Welsh legend Jamie Roberts fronts up to the media following his arrival at the Stormers

Video Spacer

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now