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Rugby News

Draw for the Heineken Champions Cup

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Leicester Tigers will face ASM Clermont Auvergne and Ospreys in the pool stages of next season’s Heineken Champions Cup.

The draw for EPCR competitions was made at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium – venue for the 2023 finals – today, featuring 24 qualified teams in the Champions Cup and 20 in the EPCR Challenge Cup.

Tigers will play ASM Clermont Auvergne and Ospreys home and away in Pool B on dates in December and January.

Clermont Auvergne are old rivals in Europe, with nine previous meetings between the clubs, including the Round of 16 last season when Tigers won both legs to reach the last eight.

They are three-time European Cup finalists, winning 75 of their previous 124 Champions Cup matches, and finished the 2021/22 season in seventh place in the Top 14, though they were one win away from fourth-placed Toulouse.

Ospreys have met Tigers in the pool stages in four previous tournaments, most recently in 2012/13. They also met in 2005/06 and in successive years in 2008/09 and ’09/10.

They have played 97 games in the Champions Cup and qualify for the tournament for a 17th time in 19 seasons.

Ospreys finished as the highest-placed Welsh region in ninth place in the United Rugby Championship this season.

The 2022/23 season will be played over eight weekends with four rounds of matches in the pool stage starting in December, followed by a knockout stage consisting of a Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, culminating in the Dublin finals on May 19 and 20, 2023.

EPCR will prepare the fixture schedules with an announcement of exact dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage in due course.

Entry to home games in the pool stages is included in Tigers season tickets alongside home games in the Gallagher Premiership, Premiership Rugby Cup and pre-season. Prices start from £280 adults, £85 juniors. For more details, click here.

The Heineken Champions Cup draw

  • 24 qualified clubs separated into four tiers based on their domestic league rankings
  • Stormers, Bulls and Sharks from South Africa included for the first time
  • Teams drawn into two pools of 12
  • Clubs from the same league in the same tier are not drawn into the same pool
  • The No1 – including Leicester Tigers as Gallagher Premiership champions – and No 2 clubs from each league are in Tier 1
  • No3 and 4 ranked clubs are in Tier 2, the No5 and 6 ranked clubs in Tier 3, and the No7 and 8 ranked clubs will be Tier 4
  • Tier 1 and Tier 4 clubs drawn in the same pool, but who are not in the same league, will play each other home and away over pool stage rounds, as will the Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs drawn in the same pool but who are not in the same league

Pool A 
(with opponents in brackets)
Castres Olympique (Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh Rugby)
Saracens (Lyon, Edinburgh Rugby)
Bulls (Exeter Chiefs, Lyon)
Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Gloucester Rugby, Sharks)
Harlequins (Racing 92, Sharks)
Leinster Rugby (Racing 92, Gloucester Rugby)
Racing 92 (Harlequins, Leinster Rugby)
Gloucester Rugby (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Leinster Rugby)
Sharks (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Harlequins)
Lyon (Saracens, Bulls)
Exeter Chiefs (Castres Olympique, Bulls)
Edinburgh Rugby (Castres Olympique, Saracens)

Pool B (with opponents in brackets)
Montpellier Hérault Rugby (London Irish, Ospreys)
Leicester Tigers (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys)
Stormers (ASM Clermont Auvergne, London Irish)
Stade Toulousain (Sale Sharks, Munster Rugby)
Northampton Saints (Stade Rochelais, Munster Rugby)
Ulster Rugby (Stade Rochelais, Sale Sharks)
Stade Rochelais (Northampton Saints, Ulster Rugby)
Sale Sharks (Stade Toulousain, Ulster Rugby)
Munster Rugby (Stade Toulousain, Northampton Saints)
ASM Clermont Auvergne (Leicester Tigers, Stormers)
London Irish (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Stormers)
Ospreys (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Leicester Tigers)


Pool A (with opponents in brackets)
Glasgow Warriors (USAP, Bath Rugby)
RC Toulon (Zebre Parma, Bath Rugby)
Bristol Bears (Zebre Parma, USAP)
Connacht Rugby (CA Brive, Newcastle Falcons)
Cardiff Rugby (CA Brive, Newcastle Falcons)
CA Brive (Connacht Rugby, Cardiff Rugby)
Newcastle Falcons (Connacht Rugby, Cardiff Rugby)
Zebre Parma (Bristol Bears, RC Toulon)
USAP (Glasgow Warriors, Bristol Bears)
Bath Rugby (Glasgow Warriors, RC Toulon)

Pool B (with opponents in brackets)
Scarlets (Aviron Bayonnais, Cheetahs)
Section Paloise (Dragons, Cheetahs)
Wasps (Aviron Bayonnais, Dragons)
Lions (Stade Français Paris, Worcester Warriors)
Benetton Rugby (Stade Français Paris, Worcester Warriors)
Stade Français Paris (Lions, Benetton Rugby)
Worcester Warriors (Lions, Benetton Rugby)
Dragons (Section Paloise, Wasps)
Aviron Bayonnais (Scarlets, Wasps)
Cheetahs (Scarlets, Section Paloise)