The draw has been made for the pool stages of the 2022/2023 Heineken Champions Cup
MUNSTER Rugby will face Premiership side Northampton Saints and French Top 14 giants Stade Toulousain in the pool stages of the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup.
Munster bowed out of last season's Heineken Champions Cup at the quarter-final stage at the hands of Toulouse following a place-kicking competition at the Aviva Stadium. The sides had finished tied 24-24 after extra-time. Next season's Champions Cup final will take place in Dublin.
Tournament organisers EPCR will now prepare the fixture schedules with an announcement to follow as soon as practicable.
For the Heineken Champions Cup draw, the 24 qualified clubs were in four tiers based on their rankings from the TOP 14, Gallagher Premiership and the URC, before being drawn into two pools of 12 – Pool A and Pool B. Clubs from the same league in the same tier were not drawn into the same pool.
The Tier 1 and the Tier 4 clubs which were drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league, will play one another home and away over four pool stage rounds, as will the Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs which were drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league.
The 20 EPCR Challenge Cup clubs were divided into three tiers in order to create two pools of 10 – Pool A and Pool B. Clubs from the same league cannot play against one another during the pool stage.
The Tier 1 and the Tier 3 clubs which were drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league, will play one another home and away over four pool stage rounds.
The Tier 2 clubs which were drawn in the same pool, but which are not from the same league, will play one another home and away during the pool stage. In order to adhere to the key principle of no same-league matches, Tier 2 clubs from the TOP 14 will only play against opposition from the URC, and similarly, Tier 2 clubs from the Premiership will also only play against opposition from the URC.
The 2022/23 EPCR season will be played over eight weekends with four rounds of matches in the pool stage starting in December, followed by a knockout stage consisting of a Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, culminating in the Dublin finals at the Aviva Stadium on 19 and 20 May 2023.
2022/23 HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP:
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)
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