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New dates announced for completion of 2019/20 Champions Cup season

The 2020/21 season of European rugby is now due to start on 11/12/13 December.

EPCR HAS CONFIRMED new dates for the postponed knock-out stage matches in the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

The Covid-19 lockdown forced the postponement of the fixtures, including Leinster’s Champions Cup quarter-final clash against Saracens and Ulster’s visit to Toulouse in the same competition.

jonathan-sexton-celebrates-his-try-which-was-later-disallowed Johnny Sexton's Leinster are set to face Saracens in the quarter-finals. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The European quarter-finals are now due to take place on the weekend of 18/19/20 September, with the semi-finals following on the weekend of 25/26/27 September.

Exact fixture dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage will be announced in the near future, says EPCR.

The Champions Cup final is set to take place in Marseille on Saturday 17 October, with the Challenge Cup decider the evening before, although EPCR underlines that “the situation is under review in light of public gathering and international travel restrictions which might be in place at the time of the finals.

“EPCR and the local organising committee in Marseille intend to clarify the position regarding the finals, including details of ticket refunds where applicable, as soon as possible.”

EPCR’s plan is for the new 2020/21 seasons of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup to kick-off on the weekend of 11/12/13 December.

The body also confirmed again that a 24-club Heineken Champions Cup with eight representatives from each of the Pro14, Top 14 and Premiership is being considered as one of the options for next season as a result of “widespread fixture disruption” caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

This format would be used “only on an exceptional basis” and EPCR says an official announcement regarding formats will be made once all discussions are concluded.

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New EPCR dates:

Quarter-finals: weekend of 18/19/20 September

Semi-finals: weekend of 25/26/27 September

Challenge Cup final: Friday 16 October

Heineken Champions Cup final: Saturday 17 October

Start of 2020/21 season: weekend of 11/12/13 December

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2019/20 Champions Cup quarter-final draw:

Clermont v Racing 92, Stade Marcel-Michelin

Toulouse v Ulster, Le Stadium

Exeter v Northampton, Sandy Park

Leinster v Saracens, Aviva Stadium.

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Murray Kinsella

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