The Heineken Cup quarter-final between Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque and Northampton Saints will be the third clash between the sides in this year’s competition after they were drawn together in Pool 6.

And the bookies will be making the French side favourites as they completed the double over their English opponents with a 22-10 win in Round 1 and then staged a comeback to win 17-8 in Round 6.

Biarritz qualified as top seeds with 29 points from their six games while No 8 seeds Northampton went through to the quarter-finals as the second of the best runners up.

Both sides have reached the Heineken Cup final in past seasons. Both clubs faced Munster in their respective finals but had very different outcomes.

The Saints defeated Munster 9-8 in 2000 at Twickenham with three Paul Grayson penalties seeing the English side win their first trophy.

Biarritz made Munster work hard at the Millennium Stadium last May but could not stop the Irish side from fulfilling their destiny and winning the Heineken Cup in their third final appearance.

That defeat was painful for Patrice Lagisquet’s side who feels the time is right for his big-hitting team to conquer Europe.

“We have won three French championships so it is important for us to be at the best level in Europe now and to be one of the teams to have won this competition,” said Lagisquet.

“I hope we will qualify for our fourth semi-final. We really appreciate this competition, the level is getting higher and higher each season.