Munster draw Clermont and Quins as Champions Cup pool draw is confirmed

Leinster will face Northampton Saints and Montpellier, while Connacht take on Pat Lam’s Bristol and Racing 92.

MUNSTER WILL TAKE on Harlequins – where Jerry Flannery now coaches – and French side Clermont in the pool stages of the 2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup.

Leo Cullen’s Leinster will face Northampton Saints and Montpellier.

Connacht have been drawn against Racing 92 – who made last season’s final – and Pat Lam’s Bristol. 

Ulster will face Toulouse, who knocked them out in last season’s quarter-finals, and English side Gloucester.

With a new 24-team format in the Champions Cup for this season only due to calendar pressures caused by Covid-19, each club will play four pool games rather than the usual six.

The pool stages kick-off with back-to-back European weekends on 11/12/13 December and 18/19/20 December. The second set of pool games will be played in January. 

Under the new format, the 24 clubs were divided into two pools of 12, with each club now set to play four games in the pool stage – two at home and two away.

Leinster are in Pool A, while Munster, Ulster, and Connacht are all in Pool B.

After the pool-stage games, the top four clubs in each of the two pools will qualify for the Champions Cup quarter-finals, while the clubs ranked numbers 5 to 8 in both pools will drop down into the knock-out stages of the Challenge Cup.

In the Champions Cup quarter-finals, the top team in Pool A will play the fourth-placed team in Pool B and vice versa. The second-ranked team in Pool A will play the third-placed club in Pool B and vice versa.

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The clubs ranked numbers 1 and 2 from Pool A and Pool B will have an advantage in playing the second leg of their quarter-finals at home.

In the one-off semi-finals, the highest-ranked clubs from the pool stage will have home country advantage in a venue designated by EPCR.

The one-off final is scheduled to take place in Marseille on 22 May 2021. 

2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup:

Pool A (with opponents in brackets):

Bordeaux-Bègles (Dragons, Northampton Saints)
Leinster Rugby (Montpellier, Northampton Saints)
Wasps (Dragons, Montpellier)
Bath Rugby (La Rochelle, Scarlets)
Edinburgh Rugby (La Rochelle, Sale Sharks)
RC Toulon (Sale Sharks, Scarlets)
La Rochelle (Bath Rugby, Edinburgh Rugby)
Sale Sharks (Edinburgh Rugby, RC Toulon)
Scarlets (Bath Rugby, RC Toulon)
Dragons (Bordeaux-Bègles, Wasps)
Montpellier (Leinster Rugby, Wasps)
Northampton Saints (Bordeaux-Bègles, Leinster Rugby)

Pool B (with opponents in brackets):

Exeter Chiefs (Glasgow Warriors, Toulouse)
Lyon (Glasgow Warriors, Gloucester Rugby)
Ulster Rugby (Gloucester Rugby, Toulouse)
Bristol Bears (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Connacht Rugby)
Munster Rugby (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Harlequins)
Racing 92 (Connacht Rugby, Harlequins)
ASM Clermont Auvergne (Bristol Bears, Munster Rugby)
Connacht Rugby (Bristol Bears, Racing 92)
Harlequins (Munster Rugby, Racing 92)
Glasgow Warriors (Exeter Chiefs, Lyon)
Gloucester Rugby (Lyon, Ulster)
Toulouse (Exeter Chiefs, Ulster Rugby)

2020/21 season weekends:

Round 1 – 11/12/13 December 2020
Round 2 – 18/19/20 December 2020
Round 3 – 15/16/17 January 2021
Round 4 – 22/23/24 January 2021
Quarter-finals, 1st leg – 2/3/4 April 2021
Quarter-finals, 2nd leg – 9/10/11 April 2021
Semi-finals – 30 April – 1/2 May 2021
Final – Saturday 22 May.

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