Champions Cup: this is how the groups and zones were for the 2020/21 season


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Champions Cup: this is how the groups and zones were for the 2020/21 season

The draw for the Champions Cup of the 2020/21 season. The champion Exeter, who beat Racing 92 in the final, will play in the B Group before Toulouse and Glasgow Warriors.

Under the new format for the 2020/21 season with two groups of 12 clubs, the current Guinness PRO14 champions, Leinster Rugby, will have Montpellier and Northampton Saints as their opponents in Group A when the tournament starts again in December, while the finalist, Racing 92, they are in the B Group where will they face Connacht Rugby and Harlequins.

For its part, Wasps, second in the Premiership, will face Dragons and Montpellier in Group A, and the PRO14 finalists, Ulster Rugby, they will face Gloucester Rugby and Toulouse in Group B.

Munster Rugby will renew its European rivalry with ASM Clermont Auvergne and Harlequins in Group B, while the Rugby Director of the Bristol Bears, Pat Lam, will return to Galway when the Challenge Cup winners face off against Connacht and Clermont also in Group B.

For the purposes of the draw, The 24 clubs that qualified from the Premiership, PRO14 and TOP 14 were classified on four levels based on their performances in the knockout stages of their respective leagues and / or in their ranking positions on their respective leaderboards.

Each tier contained six clubs with Tier 1 made up of the number one and number two ranked clubs in each league, and the Level 2, the number three and number four ranked clubs in each league, and so on.

Starting with Level 1, clubs were drawn or assigned to Group A or Group B, so that each group contained 12 clubs with no teams from the same league or the same level in the same group.

The key principles with regard to group stage matches are that clubs will only play against opponents in the same group, and clubs from the same league cannot play against each other.

Tier 1 and Tier 4 clubs that were drawn in the same group, but are not from the same league, will play each other at home and away for four rounds. The same principle applies to Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs that were selected in the same group, but are not from the same league.

The exact dates of the matches Heineken Champions Cup group stage and Challenge Cup preliminary stage matches, including venues, kick-off times and television coverage, will be announced as soon as possible after consulting with EPCR clubs and partner stations.

The four highest ranked clubs in each group of the Heineken Champions Cup qualify for the quarterfinals to be played in two stages, and classified clubs from number five to eight in each group will qualify for the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup.

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP 2020/21

GROUP A (with opponents in parentheses)
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)

B GROUP (with opponents in parentheses)
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)

Weekends of the 2020/21 season

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

Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals, first leg – 2/3/4 April 2021

Challenge Cup Round of 16 – 2/3/4 April 2021

Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals, second leg – 09/10/11 April 2021

Challenge Cup quarterfinals – 09/10/11 April 2021

Semifinals – April 30 – May 1/2, 2021

Finals 2021 – Stade Vélodrome
Marseille Challenge Cup Final – Friday May 21
Heineken Champions Cup Final – Saturday May 22


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