Ulster coach McLaughlin relishing Heineken clash with Munster

Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin said his team is looking forward to the challenge of facing Munster in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Thomond Park will host the all-Irish showdown on 6-8 April.

"We don't fear anybody - we are a quality side and we're moving up the ladder in Europe," said McLaughlin.

"Having witnessed the atmosphere in Clermont and now going to Thomond, it is something we're going to relish and look forward to."

The teams were paired in the last eight stage after Munster qualified as top seeds and Ulster as eighth seeds following the final series of pool games.

Ulster finished second in Pool 4 after their 19-15 defeat at the hands of Clermont Auvergne on Saturday.

Leinster will take on Cardiff Blues at the Aviva Stadium after qualifying as second seeds.

McLaughlin admits that home advantage is a key factor in the Heineken Cup.

"Home advantage in Europe is vital - at Ravenhill last week against Leicester the fans were outstanding," he added.

"They create such an atmosphere that it is a very difficult place for opposing teams to come to play and that is why home advantage is crucial.

"It is fantastic to have three Irish sides in the quarter-finals while Connacht were outstanding in beating Harlequins on Friday night.

"These are very exciting times and it is perfect for the lead-up to the Six Nations."

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