Sky Sports has announced its opening live Heineken Cup games for first four rounds of the 2012/13 season.
Champions Leinster will begin their title defence against tournament newcomers Exeter Chiefs, a clash which will be screened live on Sky Sports HD on October 13, and is part of the first weekend of the 2012-2013 season.
Last season’s finalists Ulster will host Castres Olympique at Ravenhill a day earlier in the opening match of the new campaign on October 12, and is the first of more than 40 games that will be shown on Sky Sports during the opening four weekends of the competition.
Further live matches will be announced as they are confirmed throughout the season.
Sky Sports’ live Heineken Cup fixtures include every British and Irish team live at least three times throughout the first four rounds.
There will be up to 11 live ties from each of the first four rounds across Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Sky Sports, plus extra matches available live on the red button.
Aviva Premiership champions, Harlequins, welcome Biarritz to the Stoop on October 13.
A day later four-time Heineken Cup winners, Toulouse, face Leicester at Stade Toulousain, while Toulon’s clash with Montpellier rounds off a busy first weekend of European rugby.
Live coverage continues in Round 2 with the first Heineken Cup match to ever be held in Belgium – the tenth country to stage a Heineken Cup fixture.
Saracens head to the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels to host Racing Metro 92 on October 20.
Sky’s extensive Heineken Cup coverage throughout the season will be presented by Alex Payne and James Gemmell, with commentary from Stuart Barnes, Miles Harrison, Mark Robson and Johnnie Hammond.
Expert analysis comes from the likes of Will Greenwood, Dewi Morris, Ieuan Evans, Scott Quinnell, Scott Hastings and Paul Wallace.
The Heineken Cup is part of an unrivalled line up of rugby union with domestic, European and international matches all available live on Sky Sports.
Alongside the Heineken Cup, Sky Sports will broadcast coverage from the Amlin Challenge Cup and live coverage of England’s QBE Autumn Internationals, plus live coverage of at least one match every round of the Aviva Premiership.
Highlights, analysis and a comprehensive round-up of the weekend’s matches will also be shown on European Rugby Special, a weekly programme broadcast every Sunday of the tournament, plus The Rugby Club, the weekly magazine show featuring in-depth previews, analysis and reaction throughout the season.
.Round 1 Friday 12th October Ulster Rugby v Castres Olympique (20:00) Ospreys v Benetton Treviso (20:00) – Red Button Saturday 13th October Racing Metro 92 v Munster (13:35) Edinburgh Rugby v Saracens (13:35i ) Leinster v Exeter Chiefs (15:40) Clermont Auvergne v Scarlets (15:40) – Red Button Harlequins v Biarritz (18:00 ) Sunday 14th October Northampton Saints v Glasgow Warriors (12:45) Sale Sharks v Cardiff Blues (12:45) – Red Button Toulouse v Leicester Tigers (15:00) Toulon v Montpellier (20:00) Round 2 Friday 19th October Glasgow Warriors v Ulster Rugby (20:00) Castres Olympique v Northampton Saints (20:00) – Red Button Saturday 20th October Scarlets v Leinster (13:35) Benetton Treviso v Toulouse (13:35) – Red Button Saracens v Racing Metro 92 (15:40) Exeter Chiefs v Clermont Auvergne (18:00) Connacht v Harlequins (18:00) – Red Button Sunday 21st October Munster v Edinburgh Rugby (12:45) Cardiff Blues v Toulon (12:45) – Red Button Leicester Tigers v Ospreys (15:00) Montpellier v Sale Sharks (15:00) – Red Button Round 3 Friday 7th December Northampton Saints v Ulster (20:00) Connacht v Biarritz (20:00) – Red Button Saturday 8th December Toulouse v Ospreys (13:35) Scarlets v Exeter Chiefs (13:35) – Red Button Sale Sharks v Toulon (15:40) Leicester Tigers v Benetton Treviso (15:40) – Red Button Munster v Saracens (18:00) Racing Metro 92 v Edinburgh Rugby (18:00) – Red Button Sunday 9th December Cardiff Blues v Montpellier (12:45) Clermont Auvergne v Leinster (15:00) Round 4 Friday 14th December Edinburgh Rugby v Racing Metro 92 (20:00) Biarritz v Connacht (20:00) – Red Button Saturday 15th December Ospreys v Toulouse (13:30) Benetton Treviso v Leicester Tigers (13:30) – Red Button Leinster v Clermont Auvergne (15:40) Exeter Chiefs v Scarlets (15:40) – Red Button Ulster v Northampton Saints (18:00) Montpellier v Cardiff Blues (18:00) – Red Button Sunday 16th December Castres Olympique v Glasgow Warriors (12:45) Saracens v Munster (15:00) Toulon v Sale Sharks (15:00) – Red Button . .