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Champions Cup

Champions Cup, Line Ups, Predictions, KO Times & TV Coverage.

We’re predicting a clean sweep for the Irish Provinces

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

It’s that time of year again, Heineken Champions Cup time!

It’s back this weekend and celebrating its 25th season!

We’ve taken a look at this weekend’s fixtures, the line ups & the refs and put together our predictions for the weekend!

Here are the fixtures for this weekend along with KO times what TV Channels will be covering the matches.

Weekend Line Ups & Predictions:

Gloucester Rugby v Toulouse

Date: Fri 15 November 2019 KO: 19:45 

Venue: Kingsholm Stadium

GLOUCESTER RUGBY

  • 15. Jason Woodward, 
  • 14. Tom Marshall, 
  • 13. Chris Harris, 
  • 12. Mark Atkinson, 
  • 11. Ollie Thorley, 
  • 10. Danny Cipriani, 
  • 9. Joe Simpson, 
  • 1. Val Rapava Ruskin , 
  • 2. Franco Marais, 
  • 3. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 
  • 4. Freddie Clarke, 
  • 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 
  • 6. Ruan Ackermann, 
  • 7. Lewis Ludlow, 
  • 8. Ben Morgan (c).

Replacements:

  • 16. Corné Fourie, 
  • 17. Josh Hohneck, 
  • 18. Fraser Balmain, 
  • 19. Alex Craig, 
  • 20. Jake Polledri, 
  • 21. Callum Braley, 
  • 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 
  • 23. Matt Banahan,

TOULOUSE

  • 15. Thomas Ramos, 
  • 14. Yoann Huget, 
  • 13. Sofiane Guitoune, 
  • 12. Romain Ntamack, 
  • 11. Maxime Médard, 
  • 10. Zack Holmes, 
  • 9. Sébastien Bézy, 
  • 1. Cyril Baille, 
  • 2. Julien Marchand (c), 
  • 3. Charlie Faumuina, 
  • 4. Florian Verhaeghe, 
  • 5. Joe Tekori, 
  • 6. Francois Cros, 
  • 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 
  • 8. Jerome Kaino.

Replacements:

  • 16. Peato Mauvaka, 
  • 17. Clément Castets, 
  • 18. Dorian Aldegheri, 
  • 19. Richie Gray, 
  • 20. Selevasio Tolofua, 
  • 21. Alban Placines, 
  • 22. Pierre Pages, 
  • 23. Lucas Tauzin,

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

AR1: Gwyn Morris (Wales)

AR2: Wayne Davies (Wales)

TMO: Ian Davies (Wales)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Toulouse to win by 7.

Bath Rugby v Ulster Rugby

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 13:00 

Venue: Recreation Ground

BATH RUGBY

  • 15. Freddie Burns, 
  • 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 
  • 13. Jonathan Joseph, 
  • 12. Jamie Roberts, 
  • 11. Ruaridh McConnochie, 
  • 10. Rhys Priestland, 
  • 9. Will Chudley, 
  • 1. Beno Obano , 
  • 2. Tom Dunn, 
  • 3. Will Stuart, 
  • 4. Josh McNally, 
  • 5. Charlie Ewels (c), 
  • 6. Mike Williams, 
  • 7. Sam Underhill, 
  • 8. Zach Mercer.

Replacements:

  • 16. Jack Walker , 
  • 17. Lewis Boyce, 
  • 18. Christian Judge, 
  • 19. Elliott Stooke, 
  • 20. Josh Bayliss, 
  • 21. Chris Cook, 
  • 22. Max Wright, 
  • 23. Gabe Hamer-Webb,

ULSTER RUGBY

  • 15. Will Addison, 
  • 14. Rob Lyttle, 
  • 13. Luke Marshall, 
  • 12. Stuart McCloskey, 
  • 11. Jacob Stockdale, 
  • 10. Billy Burns, 
  • 9. John Cooney, 
  • 1. Jack McGrath, 
  • 2. Rob Herring, 
  • 3. Marty Moore, 
  • 4. Iain Henderson (c), 
  • 5. Sam Carter, 
  • 6. Matt Rea, 
  • 7. Jordi Murphy, 
  • 8. Marcell Coetzee.

Replacements:

  • 16. Adam McBurney, 
  • 17. Eric O’Sullivan, 
  • 18. Tom O’Toole, 
  • 19. Alan O’Connor, 
  • 20. Sean Reidy, 
  • 21. David Shanahan, 
  • 22. Angus Curtis, 
  • 23. Louis Ludik,

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)

AR1: Manuel Bottino (Italy)

AR2: Matteo Liperini (Italy)

TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)

Broadcasters: C4 / Virgin Media / BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Ulster to win by 9

Glasgow Warriors v Sale Sharks

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 13:00 

Venue: Scotstoun Stadium

GLASGOW WARRIORS

  • 15. Tommy Seymour, 
  • 14. Ratu Tagive, 
  • 13. Nick Grigg, 
  • 12. Samuel Johnson, 
  • 11. DTH van der Merwe, 
  • 10. Adam Hastings, 
  • 9. George Horne, 
  • 1. Oli Kebble, 
  • 2. Fraser Brown, 
  • 3. Zander Fagerson, 
  • 4. Robert Harley, 
  • 5. Scott Cummings, 
  • 6. Ryan Wilson, 
  • 7. Callum Gibbins (c), 
  • 8. Matt Fagerson.

Replacements:

  • 16. George Turner, 
  • 17. Alex Allan, 
  • 18. D’Arcy Rae, 
  • 19. Tim Swinson, 
  • 20. Chris Fusaro, 
  • 21. Ali Price, 
  • 22. Peter Horne, 
  • 23. Kyle Steyn,

SALE SHARKS

  • 15. Simon Hammersley, 
  • 14. Marland Yarde, 
  • 13. Cameron Redpath, 
  • 12. Luke James, 
  • 11. Byron McGuigan, 
  • 10. AJ MacGinty, 
  • 9. Embrose Papier, 
  • 1. Ross Harrison, 
  • 2. Rob Webber, 
  • 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 
  • 4. Bryn Evans (c), 
  • 5. James Phillips, 
  • 6. Jean-Luc du Preez, 
  • 7. Ben Curry, 
  • 8. Dan du Preez.

Replacements:

  • 16. Akker van der Merwe, 
  • 17. Valery Morozov, 
  • 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 
  • 19. Matthew Postlewhaite, 
  • 20. Jono Ross, 
  • 21. Will Cliff, 
  • 22. Robert du Preez, 
  • 23. Chris Ashton,

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)

AR1: Adrien Descottes (France)

AR2: Cedric Marchat (France)

TMO: Patrick Dellac (France)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Glasgow by 11

Leinster Rugby v Benetton Rugby

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 15:15 

Venue: RDS Arena

LEINSTER RUGBY

  • 15. Jordan Larmour, 
  • 14. Dave Kearney, 
  • 13. Garry Ringrose, 
  • 12. Joe Tomane, 
  • 11. James Lowe, 
  • 10. Johnny Sexton (c), 
  • 9. Luke McGrath, 
  • 1. Cian Healy, 
  • 2. Ronan Kelleher, 
  • 3. Andrew Porter, 
  • 4. Devin Toner, 
  • 5. James Ryan, 
  • 6. Rhys Ruddock, 
  • 7. Josh van der Flier, 
  • 8. Caelan Doris.

Replacements:

  • 16. James Tracy, 
  • 17. Peter Dooley, 
  • 18. Michael Bent, 
  • 19. Scott Fardy, 
  • 20. Max Deegan, 
  • 21. Jamison Gibson-Park, 
  • 22. Ross Byrne, 
  • 23. Rory O’Loughlin,

BENETTON RUGBY

  • 15. Jayden Hayward, 
  • 14. Angelo Esposito, 
  • 13. Nacho Brex, 
  • 12. Alberto Sgarbi (c), 
  • 11. Luca Sperandio, 
  • 10. Ian Keatley, 
  • 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 
  • 1. Nicola Quaglio, 
  • 2. Hame Faiva, 
  • 3. Marco Riccioni, 
  • 4. Ira Herbst, 
  • 5. Dean Budd, 
  • 6. Giovanni Pettinelli, 
  • 7. Braam Steyn, 
  • 8. Nasi Manu.

Replacements:

  • 16. Engjel Makelara, 
  • 17. Federico Zani, 
  • 18. Tiziano Pasquali, 
  • 19. Marco Fuser, 
  • 20. Marco Lazzaroni, 
  • 21. Toa Halafihi, 
  • 22. Tito Tebaldi, 
  • 23. Tommy Allan,

Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)

AR1: Tual Trainini (France)

AR2: Laurent Cardona (France)

TMO: Eric Briquet-Campin (France)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS / DAZN

Prediction – Leinster by 23

La Rochelle v Exeter Chiefs

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 16:15 

Venue: Stade Marcel Deflandre

LA ROCHELLE

  • 15. Jérémy Sinzelle, 
  • 14. Vincent Rattez, 
  • 13. Geoffrey Doumayrou, 
  • 12. Levani Botia, 
  • 11. Arthur Retiere, 
  • 10. Ihaia West, 
  • 9. Alexi Bales, 
  • 1. Dany Priso, 
  • 2. Pierre Bourgarit, 
  • 3. Arthur Joly, 
  • 4. Romain Sazy, 
  • 5. Mathieu Tanguy, 
  • 6. Grégory Alldritt, 
  • 7. Wiaan Liebenberg, 
  • 8. Victor Vito (c).

Replacements:

  • 16. Facundo Bosch, 
  • 17. Reda Wardi, 
  • 18. Sila Puafisi, 
  • 19. Lopeti Timani, 
  • 20. Kevin Gourdon, 
  • 21. Brock James, 
  • 22. Marc Andreu, 
  • 23. Kini Murimurivalu,

EXETER CHIEFS

  • 15. Stuart Hogg, 
  • 14. Tom O’Flaherty, 
  • 13. Henry Slade, 
  • 12. Ian Whitten, 
  • 11. Alex Cuthbert, 
  • 10. Joe Simmonds, 
  • 9. Nic White, 
  • 1. Alec Hepburn, 
  • 2. Jack Yeandle (c), 
  • 3. Harry Williams, 
  • 4. Dave Dennis, 
  • 5. Jonny Hill, 
  • 6. Dave Ewers, 
  • 7. Jacques Vermeulen, 
  • 8. Sam Simmonds.

Replacements:

  • 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 
  • 17. Ben Moon, 
  • 18. Marcus Street, 
  • 19. Jannes Kirsten, 
  • 20. Don Armand, 
  • 21. Jack Maunder, 
  • 22. Gareth Steenson, 
  • 23. Jack Nowell,

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)

AR1: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)

AR2: Dave Sutherland (Scotland)

TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)

Broadcasters: beIN SPORTS / FR2 / BT Sport

Prediction – La Rochelle by 2

Ospreys v Munster Rugby

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 17:30 

Venue: Liberty Stadium

OSPREYS

  • 15. Cai Evans, 
  • 14. Hanno Dirksen, 
  • 13. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 
  • 12. Scott Williams, 
  • 11. Tom Williams, 
  • 10. Luke Price, 
  • 9. Shaun Venter, 
  • 1. Rhodri Jones, 
  • 2. Scott Otten, 
  • 3. Ma’afu Fia , 
  • 4. Marvin Orie, 
  • 5. Lloyd Ashley, 
  • 6. Dan Lydiate (c), 
  • 7. Olly Cracknell, 
  • 8. Morgan Morris.

Replacements:

  • 16. Ifan Phillips, 
  • 17. Nicky Smith, 
  • 18. Gheorghe Gajion, 
  • 19. Bradley Davies, 
  • 20. Sam Cross, 
  • 21. Aled Davies, 
  • 22. James Hook, 
  • 23. Kieran Williams,

MUNSTER RUGBY

  • 15. Mike Haley, 
  • 14. Andrew Conway, 
  • 13. Chris Farrell, 
  • 12. Rory Scannell, 
  • 11. Keith Earls, 
  • 10. Tyler Bleyendaal, 
  • 9. Conor Murray, 
  • 1. Jeremy Loughman, 
  • 2. Niall Scannell, 
  • 3. John Ryan, 
  • 4. Jean Kleyn, 
  • 5. Billy Holland, 
  • 6. Peter O’Mahony (c), 
  • 7. Tommy O’Donnell, 
  • 8. CJ Stander.

Replacements:

  • 16. Kevin O’Byrne, 
  • 17. James Cronin, 
  • 18. Stephen Archer, 
  • 19. Tadhg Beirne, 
  • 20. Arno Botha, 
  • 21. Alby Mathewson, 
  • 22. Sam Arnold, 
  • 23. Dan Goggin,

Referee: Karl Dickson (England)

AR1: Ian Tempest (England)

AR2: Paul Dix (England)

TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Munster by 27

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Harlequins

Date: Sat 16 November 2019 KO: 18:30 

Venue: Stade Marcel-Michelin

ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE

  • 15. Nick Abendanon, 
  • 14. Peter Betham, 
  • 13. Isaiah Toeava, 
  • 12. George Moala, 
  • 11. Alivereti Raka, 
  • 10. Camille Lopez, 
  • 9. Morgan Parra (c), 
  • 1. Etienne Falgoux, 
  • 2. John Ulugia, 
  • 3. Rabah Slimani, 
  • 4. Paul Jedrasiak, 
  • 5. Sitaleki Timani, 
  • 6. Peceli Yato, 
  • 7. Alexandre Fischer, 
  • 8. Fritz Lee.

Replacements:

  • 16. Mike Tadjer, 
  • 17. Loni Uhila, 
  • 18. Davit Zirakashvili, 
  • 19. Thibault Lanen, 
  • 20. Clement Lanen, 
  • 21. Greig Laidlaw, 
  • 22. Jake McIntyre, 
  • 23. Apisai Naqalevu,

HARLEQUINS

  • 15. Mike Brown, 
  • 14. Cadan Murley, 
  • 13. James Lang, 
  • 12. Francis Saili, 
  • 11. Gabriel Ibitoye, 
  • 10. Marcus Smith, 
  • 9. Danny Care, 
  • 1. Santiago Garcia Botta, 
  • 2. Scott Baldwin, 
  • 3. Simon Kerrod, 
  • 4. Glen Young, 
  • 5. Matt Symons, 
  • 6. Chris Robshaw (c), 
  • 7. Will Evans, 
  • 8. Tom Lawday.

Replacements:

  • 16. Elia Elia, 
  • 17. Mark Lambert, 
  • 18. Phil Swainston, 
  • 19. Tex Cavubati , 
  • 20. Renaldo Bothma, 
  • 21. Martin Landajo, 
  • 22. Michele Campagnaro, 
  • 23. Ross Chisholm,

Referee: Dan Jones (Wales)

AR1: Mike English (Wales)

AR2: Gareth Newman (Wales)

TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)

Broadcasters: beIN SPORTS / BT Sport

Prediction – Clermont by 17

Connacht Rugby v Montpellier

Date: Sun 17 November 2019 KO: 13:00 

Venue: The Sportsground

CONNACHT RUGBY

  • 15. Darragh Leader, 
  • 14. Niyi Adeolokun, 
  • 13. Kyle Godwin, 
  • 12. Bundee Aki, 
  • 11. Matt Healy, 
  • 10. Jack Carty, 
  • 9. Caolin Blade, 
  • 1. Denis Buckley, 
  • 2. Tom McCartney, 
  • 3. Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 
  • 4. Cillian Gallagher, 
  • 5. Ultan Dillane, 
  • 6. Colby Fainga’a, 
  • 7. Jarrad Butler (c), 
  • 8. Paul Boyle.

Replacements:

  • 16. David Heffernan, 
  • 17. Matthew Burke, 
  • 18. Conor Kenny, 
  • 19. Eoghan Masterson, 
  • 20. Robin Copeland, 
  • 21. Stephen Kerins, 
  • 22. Tom Daly, 
  • 23. John Porch,

MONTPELLIER

  • 15. Anthony Bouthier, 
  • 14. Gabriel N’gandebe, 
  • 13. Arthur Vincent, 
  • 12. Jan Serfontein, 
  • 11. Yvan Reilhac, 
  • 10. Aaron Cruden, 
  • 9. Benoit Paillaugue (c), 
  • 1. Mikheil Nariashvili, 
  • 2. Youri Delhommel, 
  • 3. Mohamed Haouas, 
  • 4. Nico Janse van Rensburg, 
  • 5. Paul Willemse, 
  • 6. Kelian Galletier, 
  • 7. Yacouba Camara, 
  • 8. Caleb Timu.

Replacements:

  • 16. Bismarck Du Plessis, 
  • 17. Grégory Fichten, 
  • 18. Jannie Du Plessis, 
  • 19. Fulgence Ouedraogo, 
  • 20. Enzo Sanga, 
  • 21. Julien Bardy, 
  • 22. Henry Immelman, 
  • 23. Jacques Du Plessis,

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)

AR1: Hamish Smales (England)

AR2: Simon McConnell (England)

TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Connacht by 5

Northampton Saints v Lyon

Date: Sun 17 November 2019 KO: 13:00 

Venue: Franklin’s Gardens

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS

  • 15. George Furbank, 
  • 14. Tom Collins, 
  • 13. Rory Hutchinson, 
  • 12. Piers Francis, 
  • 11. Taqele Naiyaravoro, 
  • 10. Dan Biggar, 
  • 9. Cobus Reinach, 
  • 1. Alex Waller (c), 
  • 2. Mikey Haywood, 
  • 3. Ehren Painter, 
  • 4. David Ribbans, 
  • 5. Courtney Lawes, 
  • 6. Tom Wood, 
  • 7. Lewis Ludlam, 
  • 8. Teimana Harrison.

Replacements:

  • 16. James Fish, 
  • 17. Francois van Wyk, 
  • 18. Owen Franks, 
  • 19. Api Ratuniyarawa, 
  • 20. Jamie Gibson, 
  • 21. James Mitchell, 
  • 22. Matt Proctor, 
  • 23. Ahsee Tuala,

LYON

  • 15. Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 
  • 14. Josua Tuisova, 
  • 13. Pierre-Louis Barassi, 
  • 12. Charlie Ngatai, 
  • 11. Noa Nakaitaci, 
  • 10. Pato Fernandez, 
  • 9. Jonathan Pélissié (c), 
  • 1. Raphael Chaume, 
  • 2. Jeremie Maurouard, 
  • 3. Clément Ric, 
  • 4. Killian Geraci, 
  • 5. Loann Goujon, 
  • 6. Liam Gill, 
  • 7. Patrick Sobela, 
  • 8. Carl Fearns.

Replacements:

  • 16. Mickael Ivaldi, 
  • 17. Hamza Kaabèche, 
  • 18. Demba Bamba, 
  • 19. Hendrik Roodt, 
  • 20. Virgile Bruni, 
  • 21. Baptiste Couilloud, 
  • 22. Jonathan Wisniewski, 
  • 23. Thibaut Regard,

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)

AR1: George Clancy (Ireland)

AR2: Robert O’Sullivan (Ireland)

TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Prediction – Lyon by 4

Racing 92 v Saracens

Date: Sun 17 November 2019 KO: 16:15 

Venue: Paris La Defense Arena

RACING 92

  • 15. Brice Dulin, 
  • 14. Teddy Thomas, 
  • 13. Virimi Vakatawa, 
  • 12. Henry Chavancy (c), 
  • 11. Juan Imhoff, 
  • 10. Finn Russell, 
  • 9. Maxime Machenaud, 
  • 1. Eddy Ben Arous, 
  • 2. Camille Chat, 
  • 3. Cedate Gomes Sa, 
  • 4. Donnacha Ryan, 
  • 5. Boris Palu, 
  • 6. Wenceslas Lauret, 
  • 7. Baptiste Chouzenoux, 
  • 8. Antonie Claassen.

Replacements:

  • 16. Teddy Baubigny, 
  • 17. Hassane Kolingar, 
  • 18. Ali Oz, 
  • 19. Dominic Bird, 
  • 20. Yoan Tanga, 
  • 21. Teddy Iribaren, 
  • 22. Ben Volavola, 
  • 23. Simon Zebo,

SARACENS

  • 15. Matt Gallagher, 
  • 14. Sean Maitland, 
  • 13. Alex Lozowski, 
  • 12. Nick Tompkins, 
  • 11. Roti Segun, 
  • 10. Manu Vunipola, 
  • 9. Ben Spencer, 
  • 1. Rhys Carre, 
  • 2. Jack Singleton , 
  • 3. Titi Lamositele, 
  • 4. Will Skelton, 
  • 5. Callum Hunter-Hill, 
  • 6. Nick Isiekwe, 
  • 7. Ben Earl, 
  • 8. Jackson Wray (c).

Replacements:

  • 16. Joe Gray, 
  • 17. Sam Crean, 
  • 18. Vincent Koch, 
  • 19. Joel Kpoku, 
  • 20. Sean Reffell, 
  • 21. Tom Whiteley, 
  • 22. Damian Willemse, 
  • 23. Duncan Taylor,

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)

AR1: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland)

AR2: Paul Haycock (Ireland)

TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

Broadcasters: FR2 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport

Prediction – Racing by 10

Let us know if you agree / disagree with our predictions on our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

** EXCLUSIVE DAVID LLOYD OFFER FOR ULSTER RUGBY FANS **

Challenge Cup

Heineken Champions Cup pool draw for 2021/22

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(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

The holders, Stade Toulousain, will be up against Wasps and Cardiff Rugby in the pool stage of next season’s Heineken Champions Cup following the pool draw for the 2021/22 tournament which was held today (Wednesday 21 July) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Stade Toulousain, who completed the Heineken Champions Cup and TOP 14 double last month for the second time in the club’s history, were drawn into Pool B and will meet Wasps and Cardiff over four pool stage rounds on a home and away basis.

With the qualified clubs drawn into two pools of 12, reigning Gallagher Premiership champions Harlequins will have Castres Olympique and Cardiff as their opponents in Pool B when the tournament kicks off again in December, while last season’s PRO14 winners, Leinster Rugby, are in Pool A where they will be up against Montpellier Hérault Rugby and Bath Rugby.

Stade Rochelais, runners-up in the Heineken Champions Cup final, will meet Bath and Glasgow Warriors in Pool A, while Exeter Chiefs, who lost out to Harlequins in the Premiership decider, will take on Montpellier and Glasgow in Pool A.

Munster Rugby, who were in Tier 1 as the second-ranked qualifier from the PRO14, were drawn against Castres Olympique and Wasps in Pool B.

Elsewhere, Ulster Rugby will take on ASM Clermont Auvergne and Northampton Saints in Pool A whilst Stade Français Paris were drawn into Pool B and will take on Pat Lam’s former club, Connacht Rugby, and his current charges, Bristol Bears.

For the purposes of the draw, the 24 clubs which qualified from the TOP 14, Premiership, and the PRO14 were classified into four tiers based either on their respective league rankings or on other qualification criteria.

Each tier contained six clubs with Tier 1 made up of the number one and number two ranked clubs from each league, and Tier 2, the number three and number four ranked clubs from each league, and so on.

Starting with Tier 1, the clubs were either drawn or allocated into either Pool A or Pool B so that each pool contained 12 clubs with no clubs in the same tier from the same league in the same pool.

The key principles regarding the pool stage fixtures are that clubs will only play against opponents in the same pool, and clubs from the same league cannot play against one another.

The Tier 1 and Tier 4 clubs which were drawn in the same pool, but which are from the same league, will play one another home and away over four rounds. The same principle applies to the Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs which were drawn in the same pool, but which are not from the same league.

The exact dates of the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage fixtures, as well as venues, kick-off times and TV coverage, will be announced as soon as possible following consultation with clubs and EPCR’s partner broadcasters.

The 2021/22 tournament will be played over nine weekends with four rounds of matches in the pool stage. The eight highest-ranked clubs from each pool will qualify for the knockout stage which will consist of a Round of 16 on a home and away basis, quarter-finals and semi-finals, with the final in Marseille on 28 May 2022.

Today’s draw, which was live-streamed on HeinekenChampionsCup.com, was conducted by EPCR’s Head of Events and Operations, Ben Harries, and by EPCR’s Partnerships Activation Executive, Laia Gonzalez. The event scrutineer was Lausanne-based solicitor, Jean-Guillaume Amiguet.

2021/22 HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP

POOL A (with opponents in brackets)

Stade Rochelais (Bath Rugby, Glasgow Warriors)

Exeter Chiefs (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Glasgow Warriors)

Leinster Rugby (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Bath Rugby)

Racing 92 (Northampton Saints, Ospreys)

Sale Sharks (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys)

Ulster Rugby (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Northampton Saints)

ASM Clermont Auvergne (Sale Sharks, Ulster Rugby)

Northampton Saints (Racing 92, Ulster Rugby)

Ospreys (Racing 92, Sale Sharks)

Montpellier Hérault Rugby (Exeter Chiefs, Leinster Rugby)

Bath Rugby (Stade Rochelais, Leinster Rugby)

Glasgow Warriors (Stade Rochelais, Exeter Chiefs)

POOL B (with opponents in brackets)

Stade Toulousain (Wasps, Cardiff Rugby)

Harlequins (Castres Olympique, Cardiff Rugby)

Munster Rugby (Castres Olympique, Wasps)

Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Leicester Tigers, Scarlets)

Bristol Bears (Stade Français Paris, Scarlets)

Connacht Rugby (Stade Français Paris, Leicester Tigers)

Stade Français Paris (Bristol Bears, Connacht Rugby)

Leicester Tigers (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Connacht Rugby)

Scarlets (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Bristol Bears)

Castres Olympique (Harlequins, Munster Rugby)

Wasps (Stade Toulousain, Munster Rugby)

Cardiff Rugby (Stade Toulousain, Harlequins)

2021/22 weekends

Round 1 – 10/11/12 December

Round 2 – 17/18/19 December

Round 3 – 14/15/16 January 2022

Round 4 – 21/22/23 January 2022

Round of 16 (1st leg) – 8/9/10 April 2022

Round of 16 (2nd leg) – 15/16/17 April 2022

Quarter-finals – 6/7/8 May 2022

Semi-finals – 13/14/15 May 2022

Challenge Cup final – Friday 27 May 2022; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille

Heineken Champions Cup final – Saturday 28 May 2022; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille

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Champions Cup

2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup format and qualifiers confirmed

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(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Following the conclusion of the domestic seasons in England and France, EPCR is pleased to confirm the format and qualifiers for the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup as Europe’s elite club tournament is set to return with a highly competitive schedule of 71 matches.

The Heineken Champions Cup will once again be competed for by 24 clubs with eight representatives from the Gallagher Premiership, the Guinness PRO14 and the TOP 14 having secured their places. (See qualifiers and rankings below)

The clubs will be divided into two pools of 12 – Pool A and Pool B – by means of a draw and the tournament will be played over nine weekends with four rounds of matches in the pool stage starting in December when Stade Toulousain begin the defence of their title.

The eight highest-ranked clubs from each pool will qualify for the knockout stage which will consist of a Round of 16 on a home and away basis, quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final in Marseille on 28 May 2022. (See key dates below)

The draw for the pools will be carried out on the same lines as last season with the clubs separated into four tiers, and clubs from the same league in the same tier will not be drawn into the same pool.

The number 1 and number 2 ranked clubs from each league will be in Tier 1, the number 3 and number 4 ranked clubs will be in Tier 2, the number 5 and 6 ranked clubs will be in Tier 3, and the number 7 and number 8 ranked clubs will be Tier 4.

The Tier 1 and the Tier 4 clubs which have been drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league, will play one another home and away during the pool stage, as will the Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs which have been drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league.

The pool draw will be live streamed on HeinekenChampionsCup.com and the date of the event as well as further details will be communicated shortly.

As previously announced, EPCR is currently putting the finishing touches to a new shareholder agreement, and discussions to finalise the Challenge Cup format for the 2021/22 season, as well as the formats for the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup for future seasons, are ongoing.

These discussions include the future participation of South African clubs in EPCR’s tournaments as referenced recently by the United Rugby Championship and no further comment will be made until the appropriate time.

2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup qualifiers
Gallagher Premiership: 1 Harlequins, 2 Exeter Chiefs, 3 Bristol Bears, 4 Sale Sharks, 5 Northampton Saints, 6 Leicester Tigers, 7 Bath Rugby, 8 Wasps

Guinness PRO14: 1 Leinster Rugby, 2 Munster Rugby, 3 Ulster Rugby, 4 Connacht Rugby, 5 Scarlets, 6 Ospreys, 7 Cardiff Rugby, 8 Glasgow Warriors

TOP 14: 1 Stade Toulousain, 2 Stade Rochelais, 3 Racing 92, 4 Union Bordeaux-Bègles, 5 ASM Clermont Auvergne, 6 Stade Français Paris, 7 Castres Olympique, 8 Montpellier Hérault Rugby

2021/22 key dates
Round 1 – 10/11/12 December
Round 2 – 17/18/19 December
Round 3 – 14/15/16 January 2022
Round 4 – 21/22/23 January 2022
Round of 16 (1st leg) – 8/9/10 April 2022
Round of 16 (2nd leg) – 15/16/17 April 2022
Quarter-finals – 6/7/8 May 2022
Semi-finals – 13/14/15 May 2022
Challenge Cup final – Friday 27 May 2022; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Heineken Champions Cup final – Saturday 28 May 2022; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille

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Challenge Cup

Ulster name team for Northampton Quarter-Final trip

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster coaching team has named the match-day squad for the trip to face Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday (kick-off 8pm).

Michael Lowry is named to start at full-back, and is joined in the back three by Jacob Stockdale and Robert Baloucoune. Stuart McCloskey and James Hume will form the midfield duo, and Billy Burns and John Cooney are the starting half-backs.

In the front row, Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring and Marty Moore retain their starting berths. Alan O’Connor will partner Kieran Treadwell in the second row. Last week’s Player of the Match, Sean Reidy, will start at blindside flanker, with Jordi Murphy skippering the team at openside and Nick Timoney at Number Eight.

John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea and Greg Jones will provide the forward reinforcements from the bench, with Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan and Ethan McIlroy named as the back line options.

Ulster team to play Northampton Saints, Challenge Cup Quarter-Final, Saturday 10 April at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 8pm, live on BT Sport):

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy (Capt.), Nick Timoney.

Replacements: John Andrew, Andrew Warwick, Tom O’Toole, Matty Rea, Greg Jones, Alby Mathewson, Ian Madigan, Ethan McIlroy.

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