Draws for European Champions and Challenge Cups unveiled

The tournaments will feature South African teams for the first time
The tournaments will feature South African teams for the first time

The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) organisers have unveiled the Pools for the 2022/23 season at Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday.

The Champions Cup will see 24 teams divided equally into two groups and will include three South African clubs for the first time.

It will be followed by round of 16 games and then quarter finals, semi-finals and the final that will be played at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Defending champions Stade Rochelais, will be facing Northampton Saints and Ulster Rugby in Pool B, while the recently-crowned United Rugby Championship winners, the Stormers from Cape Town, are also in Pool B and will play home and away against London Irish and ASM Clermont Auvergne.

Leicester Tigers, who triumphed in the Gallagher Premiership final, will clash with the Ospreys and Clermont in Pool B, and Montpellier Hérault Rugby, who won the TOP 14 title for the first time in the club’s history, will be pitted against London Irish and the Ospreys again in Pool B.

URC finalists, the Bulls, will face Exeter and Lyon in Pool A, while the Sharks were also drawn into Pool A where they will clash with Harlequins and Union Bordeaux-Begles.

Four-time champions, Leinster Rugby, will go head-to-head with Gloucester Rugby and Racing 92 again in Pool A, and Munster Rugby will renew their rivalry with Stade Toulousain and Northampton in Pool B.

The Challenge Cup will see Lions and Cheetahs in Pool B and will be facing Stade Francais and Warriors, and Scarlets and Pau respectively on a home and away basis.


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)

2022/23 schedule:

Round 1 – 9/10/11 December 2022
Round 2 – 16/17/18 December 2022
Round 3 – 13/14/15 January 2023
Round 4 – 20/21/22 January 2023
Round of 16 – 31 March/ 1/2 April 2023
Quarter-finals – 7/8/9 April 2023
Semi-finals – 28/29/30 April 2023
EPCR Challenge Cup final – Friday 19 May 2023; Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Heineken Champions Cup final – Saturday 20 May 2023; Aviva Stadium, Dublin


European Rugby Champions Cup Points Table