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Key EPCR Dates Announced For 2021/22 Season

Key EPCR Dates Announced For 2021/22 Season

The European Challenge Cup and Heineken Champions Cup trophies are pictured at Twickenham before last month's final between Toulouse and La Rochelle ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

As professional rugby in Europe begins to emerge from a hugely challenging period for teams and fans alike, EPCR is currently finalising details of a new shareholder agreement including new and improved tournament formats for the 2022/23 season and beyond.

Ahead of the announcement of that agreement at a future date, 2021/22 will see some modifications to the Heineken Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup formats.

In order to assist with its stakeholders’ forward planning, EPCR is pleased to announce the key dates for next season’s tournaments.

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Played over nine weekends, the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup will kick off next December, with the last of four pool stage rounds scheduled for the weekend of January 21-23, 2022.

The knockout stages will start on the weekend of April 8-10, 2022, with a round of 16 which will be played over two legs on a home and away basis.

This will be followed by the quarter-finals and semi-finals, with the Marseille finals going ahead on the weekend of May 27-28, 2022.

Commenting on the announcement, EPCR Chief Executive Vincent Gaillard said: “As we put the finishing touches to a brand new shareholder agreement which promises to be positive for everyone involved in our tournaments, we are continuing to refine and develop the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

“Next season will see a return to a full series of massively exciting and competitive matches across Europe.”

As previously referenced, 24 teams –  including eight representatives from each of the Gallagher Premiership, Top 14 and Guinness PRO14, will compete in the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup.

All qualified teams and their rankings will be officially confirmed once this season’s domestic competitions are concluded.

Discussions to finalise all details of the formats for the 2021/22 season, and future seasons, within the framework of the new shareholder agreement, are ongoing.

These discussions include the future participation of South African clubs in EPCR’s tournaments as referenced in the United Rugby Championship’s announcement.

No further comment will be made until the appropriate time.

2021/22 EPCR Match Weekends:

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