A 23rd season of European club rugby kicks of this weekend with Leicester Tigers among the nine previous champions contesting the honours. Here's some statistics behind the Champions Cup.
- More than 37,000 tickets have already been sold for the 2018 finals in the 53,000-capacity San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao. Champions Cup sales top 26,000.
- La Rochelle have qualified for the first time and will open their campaign against Harlequins at The Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.
- Defending champions Saracens are aiming to become the second club to win the title three seasons in a row. Toulon accomplished the feat in 2013-15.
- This season’s competing clubs have a total of 28 European titles between them.
- Last season’s top scorer and EPCR European Player of the Year, Owen Farrell of Saracens, needs just four points to reach 600 in the tournament.
- Leinster’s first try this season will be their 400th in the tournament, while Clermont Auvergne are one short of 300.
- Former Leicester Tigers hooker Benjamin Kayser has made the most European Cup appearances of any player named in the tournament squads this season. France international Kayser has played 83 times in the European Cup (Clermont Auvergne 48, Castres 5, Leicester Tigers 14 and Stade Francais 16), putting him one ahead of Vincent Clerc who made 82 appearances for Toulouse. The most-capped Englishman is Richard Wigglesworth with 73 appearances (Saracens 49, Sale 24). Aurélien Rougerie (70), Andrew Trimble (69), Yannick Nyanga (69) complete the leaderboard.
- Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar needs three points to reach 500 for the tournament and Morgan Parra of Clermont Auvergne is eight away from 400.
- Munster have played the most matches in the European Cup with 158 (109 wins, 1 draw and 48 defeats).