All four Irish provinces will still be dreaming of advance to the Quarter Finals of the European Champions Cup after a tight weekend of first-leg action, in the first-ever two-legged Round of 16 games.

Leinster and Connacht will have their own All Ireland contest at the Aviva Stadium at 5 PM next Friday with the lads from the East holding a five-point advantage after the first match in the Sportsground.

Ulster are the next best placed of the four after winning in Toulouse and bringing a 26-20 lead back to Kingspan Stadium.

If they convert that against one of the strongest sides in Europe they will face the winners of Exeter and Munster which is also poised within a single score after Munster held firm for just a 13-8 reverse away from home.

It sets up for an Easter Weekend where the games will dominate the TV schedules and will hopefully produce bumper crowds at the Aviva Stadium, Thomond Park and Kingspan.

It is likely to set a record for the largest number of fans to watch live professional rugby on the island in a single weekend and will be a boost for the finances of each team as well as the IRFU.

The live attendance will be bolstered by the fact that the one free to air TV game of next weekend is Harlequins against Montpellier on Virgin Media with each of the three games involving Irish teams on BT Sport 2.

Down in Musgrave Park Ireland secured their first win in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations with a 29-8 bonus point victory over Italy.

Four different try scorers in Lucy Mulhall, Neve Jones, Eve Higgins and Katie O’Dwyer, as well as a penalty, try that can be credited to all the forwards were just reward and puts numbers on the board to add to the positive attitude that persisted despite defeats in the opening games against Wales and France.

Next up will be England before the tournament closes out with a third home tie against Scotland at Kingspan Stadium.