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Heineken Cup – Leinster Land The Cushiest.

16th June 2005 By Munster Rugby

Heineken Cup – Leinster Land The Cushiest.

Ulster and Munster find themselves with tricky assignments in the pool stages of the Heineken Cup while Leinster once again, end up the best placed Irish side to progress.

Ulster and Munster find themselves with tricky assignments in the pool stages of the Heineken Cup while Leinster once again, end up the best placed Irish side to progress.

This time around that hugely melodramatic term, “Group of Death” can be applied to Poo 3 where Ospreys, Stade Francais, Leicester Tigers & Clermont-Auvergne (the artistes formerly known as Montferrand) areinvolved while the sides in Pool 2 (Calvisano, Leeds, Perpignan & Cardiff), will be more than happy to have avoided the other 24 sides.

Munster face old rivals Castres who are reported to have recruited heavily this summer, Welsh side Gwent Dragons who improve with each passing season and whose home record includes wins over Perpignan and Stade Francais and a Sale Sharks outfit containing five Lions and are widely regarded as the most improved side in the English premiership.

Ulster will be happy enough that their pool contains an Italian side because since the start of the competition, one of the Pools that contains an Italian team produces a ‘best runner-up.’ It doesn’t guarantee Mark McCall’s side anything of course, and Biarritz will start favourites to top this Pool, but Ulster’s record at home stacks up well and with any sort of luck on the road they stand a good chance of getting into the knockouts.

Lilke Biarritz, Leinster will start favourites to top their Pool (5) and after Pool 2 this one looks the most winnable.

Of the Irish contenders, Leinster have to be the most pleased with the new draw. Or put another way. Were Leinster’s fairy god-mother to appear and ask them which side, from Bath, Bourgoin or Glasgow, would they like to swop, for any side from Ulster or Munster’s Pool, they’d likely send her off with a flea in her ear. A kindly flea mind you.

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