The EPC have confirmed seedings for next year’s Champions Cup
The pool draws for the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup tournaments will be staged at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, 28 June.
Both draws will be streamed live on www.epcrugby.com and the event will start at 12pm Irish time. The EPCR Challenge Cup pools which will be followed by the Heineken Champions Cup draw at approximately 12.25pm.
The Heineken Champions Cup draw will feature the Stormers, Bulls and Sharks from South Africa for the first time. The 24 qualified clubs will be in four tiers based on their rankings from the TOP 14, Gallagher Premiership and the URC, before being drawn into two pools of 12 – Pool A and Pool B. 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. This includes Castres Olympique and Montpellier Hérault Rugby who will compete in TOP 14 final on Friday. 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 over four pool stage rounds. The Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs which have been drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league. (For example, the Stormers, who won last weekend’s URC Grand Final, will be in Tier 1. They will be drawn against either ASM Clermont Auvergne or Lyon, and against either the Exeter Chiefs or London Irish from Tier 4.)
Once the draws have been concluded for the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, EPCR will prepare the fixture schedules for both tournaments. An announcement of exact dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage to follow as soon as practicable.
The 2022/23 season will be played over eight weekends with four rounds of matches in the pool stage starting in December. This will be followed by a knockout stage consisting of a Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals. Finally culminating in the Dublin finals at the Aviva Stadium on 19 and 20 May 2023.
2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup Qualifiers
United Rugby Championship: 1 Stormers, 2 Bulls, 3 Leinster Rugby, 4 Ulster Rugby, 5 Sharks, 6 Munster Rugby, 7 Edinburgh Rugby, 8 Ospreys.
TOP 14: Castres Olympique, Montpelliero Hérault Rugby, 3 Union Bordeaux-Bègles, 4 Stade Toulousain, 5 Stade Rochelais, 6 Racing 92, 7 ASM Clermont Auvergne, 8 Lyon.
Gallagher Premiership: 1 Leicester Tigers, 2 Saracens, 3 Harlequins, 4 Northampton Saints, 5 Gloucester Rugby, 6 Sale Sharks, 7 Exeter Chiefs, 8 London Irish.
Heineken Champions Cup Pool Draw Tiers
Tier 1: Castres Olympique, Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Leicester Tigers, Saracens, Stormers, Bulls
Tier 2: Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Stade Toulousain, Harlequins, Northampton Saints, Leinster Rugby, Ulster Rugby
Tier 3: Stade Rochelais, Racing 92, Gloucester Rugby, Sale Sharks, Sharks, Munster Rugby
Tier 4: ASM Clermont Auvergne, Lyon, Exeter Chiefs, London Irish, Edinburgh Rugby, Ospreys