Jump to main content


Anticipation Building For European Pool Draws Next Week

Anticipation Building For European Pool Draws Next Week

Leinster, Saracens and Castres Olympique will be guaranteed top seedings when the pool draw for the Heineken Champions Cup takes place in Lausanne, Switzerland on Wednesday week (June 20).

This key event at the iconic Olympic Museum will get underway with the draw for the 2018/19 Challenge Cup pools at 2pm Irish time, followed by the draw for the Champions Cup pools.

Both draws will be streamed live on www.epcrugby.com and on official tournament Facebook channels.
The event comperes will be BT Sport’s Sarra Elgan and Raphaël Ibañez from France Télévisions, with Dimitri Yachvili (beIN Sports) and Austin Healey of BT Sport conducting the draws.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article


GUINNESS PRO14: 1. LEINSTER, 2. Scarlets, 3. Glasgow Warriors, 4. MUNSTER, 5. Edinburgh, 6. Cardiff Blues, 7. ULSTER

Gallagher Premiership Rugby: 1. Saracens, 2. Exeter Chiefs, 3. Wasps, 4. Newcastle Falcons, 5. Leicester Tigers, 6. Bath, 7. Gloucester

Top 14: 1. Castres Olympique, 2. Montpellier, 3. Racing 92, 4. Lyon, 5. Toulouse, 6. Toulon

Twenty teams from Gallagher Premiership Rugby, the GUINNESS PRO14 and the Top 14 have qualified on merit for the Champions Cup. The teams will be divided into four tiers of five and a preliminary draw will be conducted to establish tier 1 with two of the three second-ranked sides – Exeter Chiefs, the Scarlets and Montpellier – joining Champions Cup and PRO14 winners Leinster, Premiership winners Saracens, and Top 14 winners Castres in the top tier.

Once tier 1 has been established, the remaining three tiers will fall into place. Tier 2 will include the three third-ranked teams from the leagues – Wasps, Glasgow Warriors and Racing 92 – as well as the second-ranked team which was not drawn into tier 1 and the fourth-ranked team from the same league as the team which was not drawn into tier 1.

Tier 3 will include the two teams ranked fourth which are not in tier 2 as well as the three fifth-ranked sides from each league – Leicester Tigers, Edinburgh and Toulouse. Tier 4 is complete and contains the sixth-ranked teams from each league – Bath, Challenge Cup winners Cardiff Blues and Toulon – as well as Ulster and Gloucester Rugby.

When the tiers are completed, the main draw for the five pools will be made, and during the draw, some teams may have to be placed directly into a pool in order to ensure that the key principles apply. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Heineken Champions Cup pool draw.

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks, Benetton Rugby and La Rochelle are confirmed among the tier 1 teams for the Challenge Cup draw which will be conducted on similar lines with four tiers and five pools.


GUINNESS PRO14: 1. Benetton Rugby, 2. Ospreys, 3. CONNACHT, 4. Zebre, 5. Dragons

Gallagher Premiership Rugby: 1. Sale Sharks, 2. Northampton Saints, 3. Harlequins, 4. Worcester Warriors, 5. Bristol Bears

Top 14: 1. La Rochelle, 2. Pau, 3. Clermont Auvergne, 4. Bordeaux-Begles, 5. Agen, 6. Stade Francais, 7. Perpignan, 8. Grenoble

Continental Shield: 1. Enisei-STM, 2. Timisoara Saracens

Timisoara Saracens of Romania, who reached the penultimate stage of last season’s Continental Shield, will be included among the 20 competing sides along with the Shield winners from Bilbao last month, Russia’s Enisei-STM.

In Tier 4, Stade Francais, Pro D2 winners Perpignan and Grenoble will be drawn into pools which contain one other Top 14 club. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Challenge Cup pool draw.

– The 20 teams are divided into four tiers based on their qualifying positions from the leagues, or on other official qualification criteria. This will be done where necessary by a draw
– The 20 teams will then be drawn into five pools of fourteams each
– Each pool will have at least one team from each of the three leagues
– Each of the five pools will have one team from each of the four tiers
– There will be no more than two teams from the same league in a pool
– No pool will contain two PRO14 teams from the same country
– Teams from the same league will be kept apart until the allocation of the tier 4 sides
– In the Challenge Cup draw, a team from the Continental Shield cannot be drawn into a pool which contains two Top 14 sides or two Premiership sides

Round 1: October 12/13/14
Round 2: October 19/20/21
Round 3: December 7/8/9
Round 4: December 14/15/16
Round 5: January 11/12/13
Round 6: January 18/19/20

Quarter-Finals: March 29/30/31
Semi-Finals: April 19/20/21
Challenge Cup Final: Friday, May 10, St James’ Park, Newcastle
Champions Cup Final: Saturday, May 11, St James’ Park, Newcastle