Leinster to play Northampton in Champions Cup semi-final on May 4th

Saturday 5.30pm kickoff for first rugby game in Croke Park in 14 years

Leinster will play Northampton Saints in the semi-finals of the Champions Cup on Saturday, May 4th, it has been confirmed. Kickoff time will be 5.30pm in what will be GAA headquarters’ first rugby game in 14 years.

With the Aviva Stadium unavailable due to preparations for hosting this year’s Europa League final, the match will be the first rugby one at the ground since Ireland’s Six Nations defeat to Scotland in 2010. The year previous, Leinster and Munster squared off on Jones’ Road in a Heineken Cup semi-final in front of a then world record crowd for a club match.

In the other semi-final, Toulouse will play Harlequins at 3pm on Sunday, May 5th at Stadium de Toulouse after Toulouse beat Exeter 64-26 on Sunday.

Leinster blew away La Rochelle on Saturday, beating their conquerors in the Champions Cup final last year by 40-13.


Leinster head coach Leo Cullen is desperately hoping a huge home crowd will be drawn to Croke Park in three weeks’ time.

“We have a three-week lead in to a semi-final and it would be amazing to get a big crowd in Croke Park because you couldn’t take that for granted. There’s a lot competition for attention, as we know.

“That’s what I mean. We’re so appreciative of the people that were there. It means a hell of a lot to the team. Hopefully that stays strong and the crowd, but that’s a few weeks away.”

David Gorman

David Gorman

David Gorman is a sports journalist with The Irish Times