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Today’s Champions Cup Pool Draw: How it works

The pool draws for EPCR’s Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments will be staged at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium later today, with Northampton Saints’ pool stage opponents to be decided for the 2023/24 season.

After the competition’s new format was confirmed last week, the 24 sides in the Champions Cup – including Saints – will be drawn into four pools of six teams.

Both the Champions and Challenge Cup draws – presented by Sarra Elgan (BT Sport) and Vincent Pochulu (beIN SPORTS) – will be streamed live on EPCRugby.TV, starting with the Challenge Cup from 12.30pm (BST) before the Champions Cup draw gets underway at approximately 12.50pm (BST).

Supporters who wish to watch the draw live can log-on in advance and create a free account to access the stream.

Champions Cup Pool Draw 2023/24

  • All 24 clubs will be divided into two tiers for the draw, Tier 1 and Tier 2.
  • Tier 1 will be made up of Stade Rochelais (2023 Heineken Champions Cup winners), Saracens (Gallagher Premiership Winners), Munster Rugby (URC winners) and Stade Toulousain (TOP 14 winners).
  • Tier 2 will include all of the remaining 20 clubs, including Northampton Saints.
  • The four Tier 1 clubs will be drawn out first to decide which Pool they go into – with the first club going into Pool 1, the second into Pool 2 and so on.
  • The remaining 20 clubs will then be drawn randomly to fill the rest of the pool spaces.
  • There can only be a maximum of two clubs from the same league in each pool, with clubs in the same URC Shield (Irish, South African, Welsh, and Italian/Scottish) also not able to be drawn in the same pool.
  • If a club cannot be drawn into the originally allocated pool, it will be moved into the next available pool.
  • This process will then be repeated until all 24 clubs are allocated a pool.

The fixture schedules for the Champions and Challenge Cups, with dates, venues, kick-off times confirmed, will be announced by EPCR as soon as possible following the draw.

The Champions Cup will be played over eight weekends, with four pool stage rounds and four knockout stage rounds, culminating in the London 2024 finals which will be staged at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next May.

And the new format aims to drive increased sporting jeopardy, as each club will play against four different opponents home or away in the pool stages.

To view a summary of the new EPCR tournament formats, please CLICK HERE.

2023/24 Champions Cup Qualifiers

  • TOP 14: Stade Rochelais, Stade Toulousain, Racing 92, Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Lyon, Stade Français Paris, RC Toulon, Aviron Bayonnais
  • GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP: Saracens, Sale Sharks, Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Exeter Chiefs, Bath Rugby, Bristol Bears
  • UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP: Munster Rugby, DHL Stormers, Leinster Rugby, Ulster Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Vodacom Bulls, Connacht Rugby, Cardiff Rugby

2023/24 EPCR Competition Weekends

Round 1 – 8/9/10 December 2023
Round 2 – 15/16/17 December 2023
Round 3 – 12/13/14 January 2024
Round 4 – 19/20/21 January 2024

Round of 16 – 5/6/7 April 2024
Quarter-finals – 12/13/14 April 2024
Semi-finals – 3/4/5 May 2024
Challenge Cup final – Friday 24 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Champions Cup final – Saturday 25 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

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