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A look back at all the action as Exeter win their first ever Champions Cup trophy with a tough 31-27 win over Racing 92 clash at Ashton Gate. [41], In June 2012, following that year's final, Premiership Rugby and the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), on behalf of the English and French clubs respectively, gave ERC two years' notice of withdrawing from the Heineken Cup and also the second-tier Challenge Cup competitions from the start of the 2014–15 season. Jonathan Sexton won the man-of-the-match award, having scored 28 of Leinster's points total, which included two tries, three conversions, and four penalties. The actions of Premiership Rugby were said to have "thrown northern hemisphere rugby into disarray". [18][19] Rescheduling of some matches was difficult, partly caused by fixture congestion due to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.[20][21][22]. [34], Following the completion of the pool stage, the five pool winners, and the three best pool runners-up qualify for the knock-out stage. In the Challenge Cup there will be a ‘round of 16’ involving eight clubs dropping down from the Champions Cup followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. The most-attended match was a semi-final between Irish rivals Leinster and Munster played in Croke Park in Dublin. For the first time clubs from four nations – England, Ireland, France and Wales – made it through to the semi-finals. English side London Wasps had earned their first final appearance by beating Munster 37–32 in a Dublin semi-final while Toulouse triumphed 19–11 in an all-French contest with Biarritz in a packed Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux. , Check out our video to make sure you're up to speed with how it's all going to work ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/gTLQvh4WMQ, — Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) September 2, 2020, Here are more details on the new European Champions Cup format for 2020-21…. "With an expanded knockout stage and no repeats of domestic matches during the pool stage, this format creates brand new competitive opportunities for Europe's elite clubs and their fans," said European Professional Club Rugby chairman Simon Halliday. The 2006–07 Heineken Cup would be distributed to over 100 countries following Pitch International's securing of the rights. Typically, a total of 20 teams qualify for the competition, four fewer than used to qualify for the Heineken Cup. [49], Premiership Rugby and LNR were described as having employed "bully-boy tactics" by The Irish Times. Here is the full 202-21 Champions Cup pool draw, with clubs’ opponents in brackets…. The eight Premiership teams that have qualified are: Exeter Chiefs, Wasps, Bristol Bears, Bath, Sale Sharks, Harlequins, Gloucester and Northampton Saints. Challenge Cup semi-finalist, if one has not already qualified (or the winner of a play-off between the semi-finalists, if both have not already qualified). [85] Second on that season's list was a pool match between Stade Français and Harlequins that drew 76,569 to Stade de France in Paris (a venue that Stade Français has used for select home matches since 2005). The performance broke a number of Heineken Cup Final records. The Challenge Cup and Champions Cup knockout stages will take place in September with the respective finals on Oct. 16 and 17, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) announced on Thursday. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<. [5], The season 1997–98 saw the introduction of a home and away format in the pool games. EPCR released a statement saying they were "disappointed to learn of Saracens' decision to make their club representatives unavailable for today's official 2019–20 season launch".[30]. The 24 clubs were split into four tiers based on their league position/performance in the knockout stages of their league, with the Premiership and Pro14 finalists ranked as one and two in their leagues. The competition was decided with a final between Munster and Northampton, with Northampton coming out on top by a single point to claim their first major honour.[4]. Get all the latest results of the Heineken Champions Cup matches and the detailed fixtures of the upcoming games, with the broadcasters.

So defending champions Exeter will play Glasgow and Toulouse, runners-up Racing face Connacht and Harlequins while Challenge Cup winners Bristol Bears have been drawn with Clermont and Connacht. : Leinster, Edinburgh, Munster, Ulster, Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors, Connacht, Dragons (rankings TBC at conclusion of current season), : Bordeaux-Begles, Lyon, Racing 92, Toulon, La Rochelle, Clermont Auvergne, Toulouse and Montpellier or Castres Olympique.

Ironically, English clubs had decided to withdraw from the competition in a dispute over the way it was run. They defeated former multiple Heineken Cup winners Leicester and Toulouse in the quarter- and semi-finals. There will be four rounds of pool matches, with no teams from the same league playing each other. In the 2010 final, Toulouse defeated Biarritz Olympique in the Stade de France to claim their fourth title, a Heineken Cup record.

The tenth Heineken Cup final saw the inaugural champions Toulouse battle with rising stars Stade Français when Murrayfield was the first Scottish venue to host the final. [2], Clubs from England and Scotland joined the competition in 1996–97. The European Rugby Champions Cup (known as the Heineken Champions Cup for sponsorship reasons) is an annual rugby union tournament organised by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). Munster's defeat of Toulouse in Bordeaux ended France's record of having contested every final and Northampton Saints' victory over Llanelli made them the third English club to make it to the final. The pool stages were spread over three months to allow the competition to develop alongside the nations' own domestic competitions, and the knockout stages were scheduled to take the tournament into the early spring. [11][12] It was speculated that league two teams might compete the next season, the RFU saying "If this situation is not resolved, the RFU owes it to the sport to keep this competition going...We have spoken to our FDR clubs, and if they want to compete we will support them.". "In this time of change, the Heineken Champions Cup, with its global stars of the game, its passionate supporters and its unique match-day atmosphere undoubtedly remains the one to win.". Heineken Cup or Champions Cup) are listed. The final is typically the most-attended match, as it is generally held in a larger stadium than any club's home venue.

So the teams that will compete in the 2020-21 Champions Cup are: Leinster, Edinburgh, Munster, Ulster, Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors, Connacht and Dragons. EPCR were said to have "failed on many levels" by The Irish Times, with the attendance figure for the final "a fitting postscript to the hastily-convened decider to what was, after all the brinkmanship, a hastily-convened tournament". Ronan O'Gara received the inaugural award, being recognised as the best player over the first 15 years of ERC tournaments. Toulouse became the first team to win three Heineken Cup titles.[7]. [3] From an inauspicious beginning in Romania, where Toulouse defeated Farul Constanţa 54–10 in front of a small crowd, the competition gathered momentum and crowds grew. However, Wasps won the final 25 points to 9 in front of a tournament record 81,076 fans. [8] It was third time lucky for the Irish provincial side, who had previously been denied the ultimate prize twice by Northampton and Leicester. Leinster successfully defended their crown in 2012 at Twickenham, eclipsing fellow Irish province and former champions Ulster 42–14 to establish the highest Heineken Cup final winning margin. The quarter-finals will be played home and away between the top four clubs in Pool A and the top four clubs in Pool B. [37], The winners of the semi-finals will contest the final, which will be held in May each season. [52] However, with less than two weeks to go before the final took place, it was reported that fewer than half of the stadium's 82,000 seats had been sold, with just 8,000 French supporters travelling to London to watch Toulon face Clermont.

Leinster won the title in 2009 in their first ever final after beating Munster in the semi-final in front of a then world record Rugby Union club match attendance in Croke Park. The top eight-ranked clubs from the Challenge Cup (CC) preliminary stage will move onto the ‘round of 16’, where they will be joined by the clubs ranked from fifth to eighth in Pool A and Pool B at the end of the Champions Cup (HCC) group stage. [33], Teams will play the other three teams in the pool twice, at home and away, and match points will be awarded depending on the result of each game, with teams receiving four points for a win, and two for a draw. [51], EPCR were still looking to hire a permanent chairman and director-general more than a year after their establishment. To facilitate Rugby World Cup 2015, there were no play-offs for the 2016–17 Champions Cup with the 20th place going to the winner of the 2016 Challenge Cup if not already qualified. This was said to have "devalued" and "diminished the status of the occasion as the pinnacle of European club rugby". [47][48] On the same day, BT and Sky announced an agreement that divided coverage of the new European competitions. A record crowd saw Leicester become the first side to successfully defend their title.[1]. In 2006, Munster defeated Biarritz in the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 23–19. ", "Anglo-French breakaway plan from rugby Heineken Cup not ideal: IRB chief Brett Gosper", "Background to the European rugby dispute", http://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/featured-post/15722/european-rugby-statement/, "New identity for the Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition", "BT and Sky sign joint agreement over European rugby", "European Cup's unique sense of occasion wins out despite final flaws", "European Rugby Cup officials seconded to run the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup", "Has rugby's new Europe actually worked? The 2020-21 Heineken Champions Cup season will feature 24 teams and home and away quarter-finals for the first time. ", "European Champions Cup organisers fear half-empty Twickenham final", "Free Champions Cup final ticket offer a mistake, claim organisers - SportsJOE.ie", "Heineken returns as Champions Cup title partner", "European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR)", "European Rugby Cups unveiled ahead of kick off", "Prestigious new European Professional Club Rugby trophies unveiled", "DAZN LANDS EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP AND EUROPEAN RUGBY CHALLENGE CUP", "Where can you watch the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup? A full list of contents for the December 2020 issue of Rugby World magazine, This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, Get Christmas sorted with a Rugby World subscription and you get a £5 M&S gift card, LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS, Bordeaux-Bègles (Dragons, Northampton Saints), Leinster Rugby (Montpellier, Northampton Saints), Northampton Saints (Bordeaux-Bègles, Leinster), Exeter Chiefs (Glasgow Warriors, Toulouse), Bristol Bears (Clermont Auvergne, Connacht), Clermont Auvergne (Bristol Bears, Munster).

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