Belfast Telegraph

Burns brothers to go head-to-head in Champions Cup

 

Sibling rivalry: Bath's Freddie Burns (left) and his brother, Billy, who plays for Ulster, will square up to each other in the Heineken Champions Cup
Sibling rivalry: Bath's Freddie Burns (left) and his brother, Billy, who plays for Ulster, will square up to each other in the Heineken Champions Cup
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

It'll be a family affair for Ulster's out-half Billy Burns after the province were paired with his brother Freddie's Bath side in the Heineken Champions Cup pool stages.

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They were joined by Top 14 giants Clermont and London outfit Harlequins too in a draw that gives the province a strong chance of making the knock-out stages for a second season in a row after last year's quarter-final spot.

"Every team is incredibly strong," said Ulster's Operations Manager Bryn Cunningham.

"The main thing for us, and most other teams I'm sure, was to avoid Saracens.

"They're a phenomenal side as we've seen last season. The season just gone, we've had a strong campaign. Winning five of six in the pools was a great achievement. Coming so close to usurping Leinster in the quarter-finals has certainly given us an appetite to go at least one step further but that's no easy task. It's six games and you've got to be at your best in all six if you want to have any chance."

Elsewhere, World Rugby has shelved their controversial Nations Championship plan that would have introduced relegation in the Six Nations Championship.

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