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What's in store in Europe?

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Leicester Tigers meet familiar faces in Racing 92 and Munster in next season's European Champions Cup while also renewing acquaintances with Glasgow after an absence of 16 years.

Tigers have met each of their 2016/17 rivals in previous seasons, though not since 2000/01 in the case of Glasgow. That was the fifth meeting with the Scots – then known as Glasgow Caledonian – in three seasons, but they have not met since. Warriors were Celtic League champions in 2014/15 but were knocked out of the Champions Cup in the pool stages after finishing behind Racing 92 and Northampton Saints last season.
Racing, of course, were Tigers’ opponents in the semi-final stages in 2015/16, when they triumphed 19-16 at the City Ground, Nottingham, while Tigers and Munster have met in three European seasons, including the pool stages in 2015/16 when Tigers won home and away.
Tigers and Racing 92 have met just once before in the competition, in the 2015/16 semi-finals at the City Ground, Nottingham, when Dan Carter steered the French side to a 19-16 victory. Racing were beaten by Saracens in the Final but went on to win their first Top 14 league title with victory over Toulon at Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium last weekend.
Their new signings for next season are Leona Nakarawa from Glasgow, Agen’s Viliamu Afatia and James Hart from Grenoble, though Martin Castrogiovanni, Juandré Kruger, Luke Charteris and Mike Phillips all move on this summer.
Glasgow Warriors beat Munster in the Guinness Pro12 Final in 2014/15 to become the first Scottish winners of the Celtic League title and finished third in 2015/16 when they were the top try-scorers in the competition.
Leicester and Glasgow Caledonian, as the team were then known, met five times in the first four years of European competition, including a quarter-final play-off in 1997/98 when Tigers recorded the club’s Euro record 90-19 victory. The two sides also met in the pool stages in each of the following two seasons with Tigers losing just once, 17-20 in Round 3 in 1999/2000.
Former Tigers lock Greg Peterson made 17 appearances for Warriors last season and their recruits for 2016/17 include former All Blacks hooker Corey Flynn and English fly-half Rory Clegg.
Old rivals, Tigers and Munster first met in the 2002 European Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, with Leicester becoming the first team to retain the trophy. The sides met again in a quarter-final won by the visitors at Welford Road in 2003 and in the pool stages in 2006/07 when Munster won at Welford Road before Leicester historically turned the tables in Round 6 and became the first away team to win at Thomond Park, in its final European fixture before redevelopment.
Tigers followed that historic first win at Thomond Park with a second in last season’s competition on the way to securing a double against the Irishmen.
Munster won the trophy in 2006 and 2008, after reaching finals in 2000 and 2002. They finished sixth in the Pro12 last season and welcome a new coaching team for 2016/17 headed by director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and head coach Anthony Foley.
Order of fixtures, and the confirmed dates and kick-off times for the opening four rounds will be announced by tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby and their broadcast partners later this summer. The opening weekend is on October 14/15/16.

Click here to relive last season's meetings with Racing and Munster in our online gallery.