Clermont’s win over Saracens this afternoon saw them finish as the third-best qualifier from the group winners, with the Saints being named the sixth seed as the best of the three pool runners-up that also reached the knockout stages.
Saints’ trip to Stade Marcel Michelin - a venue where the East Midlanders have not played since November 2001 - will be played on the weekend of April 3/4/5, with ticket and travel details to be announced in due course.
Saints knew on Saturday evening that a trip to France was in the offing, with director of rugby Jim Mallinder telling SaintsTV that it is a challenge to be relished, drawing on the wins in the past two seasons that have been achieved in the past away to Ulster and Leinster.
“You have to draw on those results,” he said. “It’s going to be a massive challenge, but we’ve got a team who enjoys challenges, enjoys playing away, and hopefully we can reproduce that form and get a win.”
Champions Cup organisers EPCR have also drawn the tournament’s semi-finals, and whoever wins in Clermont-Ferrand will have home country advantage when they face either Racing Metro or Saracens on the weekend of April 17/18/19.
CHAMPIONS CUP QUARTER FINALS (w/e Apr 3/4/5)
Racing Metro v Saracens
Toulon v Wasps
Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints
Leinster v Bath
CHAMPIONS CUP SEMI-FINALS (w/e 17/18/19)
Toulon or Wasps v Leinster or Bath
Clermont Auvergne or Northampton Saints v Racing Metro or Saracens