Full Match - Leinster vs La RochelleMay 21
Less than a fortnight on from Ireland's Grand Slam heroics in Dublin, the great and the good of European rugby reconvene this weekend with a place in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup at stake.
With an intoxicating weekend of knockout drama in store, we preview every game from the last 16, with all seven remaining matches available to watch exclusively live on BT Sport.
Read on for the lowdown on each contest, as well as TV channel information and live-stream details.
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Saturday 1 April
Cell C Sharks vs Munster - 12pm, BT Sport 3
This will Munster's first-ever Champions Cup game against South African opposition, and the Red Army will have their work cut out against the Cell C Sharks.
The KwaZulu-Natal outfit won three of their four pool-stage games in what is their inaugural campaign, only losing 39-29 at Harlequins after qualification for the last 16 had already been assured.
That said, the Sharks have been on a bit of a downward trend in recent weeks, falling to defeat against Ulster, the DHL Stormers and the Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship, while their upcoming opponents have been in largely positive form - barring last weekend's disappointing reverse to Glasgow Warriors - and are now seven points above the Sharks in the play-off race.
After last year's heartbreaking quarter-final elimination at the hands of Toulouse in a highly unusual penalty shootout - the second time in succession that Munster had been dumped out of Europe by the French giants - it's hard to say whether the team is better or worse off for those experiences now that Graham Rowntree is steering the ship following Johann van Graan's departure to Bath last summer.
Speaking to the press prior to his side's trip to Durban, Rowntree reflected on the second of two narrow defeats to Toulouse in this season's competition, saying: "That was like a Test match. Could've, should've won it. It's going to need a similar performance or a better performance this week. That's what we are aiming for.
"In what ways? Get our game going, look after the ball closer to their line, be better in the collisions than we were last week and respect their power game.
"As I keep saying, [when] you play these big packs, I don't want to be defending mauls all day.
"It takes it out of you, so our scrum and our maul has got to be spot on, as I thought it was in Toulouse in January over there. So, all those aspects, we have to respect."
Rowntree does however have Gavin Coombes at his disposal - the Champions Cup's most prolific tackler this season - while the 25-year-old is only behind Josh van der Flier when it comes to tries scored.
Exasperatingly for Munster however, another clash with Toulouse is looking a very strong possibility should they tame the Sharks, although the Vodacom Bulls will have something to say about that.
DHL Stormers vs Harlequins -2.45pm, BT Sport 3
Having endured a largely disheartening 2023 so far, Harlequins may well be glad to have Europe as a distraction now that the prospect of qualifying for the Premiership play-offs appears out of reach.
Indeed, the Champions Cup has provided moments of joy for the south-west Londoners this season, even though they needed victory over the Cell C Sharks in the final round of pool fixtures to ensure progression to the last 16.
The player-of-the-match display of youngster Fin Baxter during the opener against Racing 92 was one of those highlights, while Tabai Matson's men showcased their best attacking instincts against the Sharks to give themselves some grounds for optimism heading into another clash against South African opposition.
Matson will be under no illusions about the size of the task facing his men though.
The DHL Stormers became the first side to take points off Leinster this season in a pulsating 22-22 draw in Dublin last Friday, keeping themselves second in the United Rugby Championship behind Leo Cullen's men as a result.
Stormers forward Deon Fourie feels that Leinster challenge was the perfect preparation for facing Quins, who have a particularly potent threat in their ranks.
"It was good playing Leinster before Harlequins because Leinster also love to play with quick ball," he said.
"We made good plans for Leinster and I think they worked well, so we will just take that into this weekend's game.
"I will always search for that opportunity when it comes to stealing or slowing the ball down. Accuracy is key for me when I make those decisions.
"Discipline is always important, especially with a player like Marcus [Smith] on the field.
"We had a bad patch in the Leinster game where we gave eight or nine penalties away in a row.
"We have to be more accurate or disciplined, otherwise Marcus will punish us with his kicks or his running ability. His attacking style is also top-notch."
The victors will have to travel to Exeter Chiefs or Montpellier in the quarter-finals.
La Rochelle vs Gloucester - 5.15pm, BT Sport 3
Like Harlequins, Gloucester's Gallagher Premiership challenge has somewhat fallen by the wayside, but ahead of their visit to Champions Cup holders La Rochelle, they can draw inspiration from their last trip to France on the final weekend of this year's pool stage, which saw them overcome Bordeaux Begles to reach the last 16.
La Rochelle, along with Toulouse and Leinster, are the only sides who have a 100% record in the competition this season however, with Ronan O'Gara's men possessing by far the highest points scorer in Antoine Hastoy, while the imposing Gregory Alldritt is third for number of carries.
They are also in a strong position to reach the play-off semi-finals in the Top 14, sitting five points clear of third-placed Stade Francais.
Despite the uplifting news of Seb Atkinson extending his contract at Kingsholm after impressing since his arrival from Worcester Warriors, George Skivington's men are beset by injuries, with Albert Tuisue, Val Rapava-Ruskin and Giorgi Kveseladze all out for the remainder of the campaign.
Reflecting on last Friday's bitterly disappointing defeat to 14-man Newcastle Falcons, Skivington said: "I don't think it was a good look for us and we were pretty angry about it. But the boys have come in this week with a really good attitude, taken it on the chin, and no-one's made any excuses.
"We haven't really had too many consecutive games and it can be tough after a loss to have a week off, so it's nice to have a game this week.
"The exciting thing for us is that we've had some great experiences in Europe over the last few years.
"With La Rochelle this weekend, we will have played both of last season's finalists and they play very different rugby.
"Leinster was a real challenge in an organisational front and La Rochelle have lots of rockstars on the pitch. The way they keep the ball alive is impressive."
Both sides are playing for the prize of a quarter-final against either Saracens or Ospreys in the last eight.
Leinster's 22-22 draw against the DHL Stormers last Friday brought to an end a remarkable 19-match winning run in all competitions, with Leo Cullen's side last tasting defeat in the 2021/22 Champions Cup final against La Rochelle.
The painful nature of that defeat - Arthur Retiere's winning try coming in the 80th minute - has seemed to galvanise rather than shatter the Dubliners, who have kicked on from the impressive heights of last year and now look almost unstoppable.
The only non-French side to have won all four of their Champions Cup group games this season, they have scored 184 points in those matches - 45 more than the next-best team, Exeter Chiefs - and conceded just 34 points, 19 points than the next-most stingy side in that regard, Toulouse.
Josh van der Flier is the competition's top try-scorer this campaign with five, while Ross Byrne leads the way in terms of conversions (16).
If that prospect wasn't daunting enough for Ulster, Leinster will have to face a squad packed with recent Ireland Grand Slam winners (aside from Jonny Sexton), although Dan McFarland's men possess some of their own and acquitted themselves well in both their United Rugby Championship matches against Leinster this season, losing by only seven and nine points.
McFarland will know that his charges will need to have the performance of a lifetime to progress at the RDS Arena, having won their final pool-stage game against Sale Sharks to progress to the last 16 after three defeats.
However, the Belfast outfit are in good nick domestically, having won their last three matches against the Cell C Sharks, Cardiff and the Vodacom Bulls to strengthen their hold on third place in the URC.
Looking ahead to the meeting, McFarland said: "History tells us that it's a tough place for us to go. The last two years we have beaten them twice. We played well in patches in the other games but weren't good enough to beat them this year.
"We know we have the ability to win games against them but also are aware that if we are not playing to the peak of that ability, it's going to be tough going, but we are very motivated.
"Leinster's heartbeat is their gain line or line in quick ball, so if you feed them that or if they can impose that, you will struggle in the game.
"We managed to be able to slow it down in past games. They are going to score tries against you or anybody, so you have to score too. We can influence the game in how we play. We need to get it right."
Whoever comes out on top will have an intimidating trip to Leicester Tigers on their hands in the quarter-finals.
Sunday 2 April
Exeter Chiefs vs Montpellier - 12pm, BT Sport 1
There is sure to be plenty of spice on Sunday lunchtime as 2020 European Cup winners Exeter entertain Montpellier to Sandy Park.
Chiefs stalwarts Sam Simmonds and Luke Cowan-Dickie are both joining the French giants at the end of the season, making this weekend's last-16 tie a must-watch showdown with a place in the last eight of the competition at stake as Stuart Hogg bids to make sure that this match isn't his last in Europe after announcing that he will retire following this winter's World Cup.
Rob Baxter's side will be hoping they can continue their outstanding home form against Montpellier as they welcome the Top 14 champions to Devon.
The Gallagher Premiership side have run up more than 40 points against them on both their previous meetings in south-west England – in the 2017/18 and 2021/22 pool stages.
They qualified for a home tie this time by finishing second in Pool A, losing only once, in Round 3 to Vodacom Bulls, whom they hammered 44-14 in Round 2, also completing the double over Castres Olympique.
Meanwhile, Montpellier reached the Round of 16 by finishing seventh of the eight qualifiers from Pool B, a 32-17 win at London Irish and a 21-21 draw with the Premiership club sandwiching a shock double loss to Ospreys.
Should the Chiefs advance into the quarter-finals, they would have home advantage against either the DHL Stormers of Harlequins.
Saracens vs Ospreys - 2.45pm, BT Sport 1 & BT Sport Ultimate
Saracens are scaling the heights of the club game once more, three years on from their fourth and most recent European Cup triumph.
After sitting out last year's competition following their one-year hiatus in the Championship, Mark McCall's men secured a home tie despite defeat in their final pool game against Edinburgh.
The hosts are set to be boosted by the inclusion of captain Owen Farrell, who hobbled off in their Premiership win over Quins last weekend.
Farrell trained on Wednesday and the club are "relatively optimistic" he will play.
Saracens lead the way in the English top flight and have lost just four games in Europe and the league this season.
Ospreys continue to fly the flag for Wales and qualified from their pool with three wins and one defeat, including completing a monumental double over defending Top 14 champions Montpellier.
Stalwart for club and country Alun Wyn Jones, 37, is out of contract in the summer after 18 years with the club.
It means the game at the StoneX Stadium could be his last for the Welsh region in Europe - but he will not want to bow out yet.
The winners of this encounter will have to travel to La Rochelle or Gloucester in the quarter-finals.
Toulouse vs Vodacom Bulls - 3pm, BT Sport 3
French giants Toulouse continue their quest for a record-extending sixth European Cup when they take on South African powerhouses Vodacom Bulls on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulls head to France off the back of eight successive defeats in all competitions, a dismal run of form that leaves their season hanging by a thread and represents quite the fall from grace for a side that has historically been one of South Africa's strongest teams.
By contrast, Sunday's hosts sit comfortably on top of the French Top 14 table and are unbeaten at home this season
Bulls director of rugby Jake White has warned his squad that overcoming the five-time winners on their own patch will be "a massive task".
South Africa's 2007 World Cup-winning coach knows what to expect the Stade Ernest-Wallon having led Montpellier between 2014 and 2017.
He said: "I've coached in France and it doesn't get any tougher. Generally, people use that phrase quite often, but it doesn't get any tougher than playing Toulouse in a knockout game in Toulouse.
"If you look at the Champions Cup historically, that's one of the strongest home-beds of European rugby.
"So it's going to be a massive task for us and it's going to be an opportunity to measure ourselves against some of the best players in the world."
The victors will host the Cell C Sharks or Munster in the last eight.