All Irish provinces to face former European champions in Champions Cup pools

Champions Cup pools

Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Connacht will all come up against former European champions in next season’s Heineken Champions Cup pool stages.

The Champions Cup has retained the pool format it used for the first time in last season’s competition, with the 24 clubs split into two groups of 12, where each side will play two other clubs in their pool on a home and away basis.

Eight clubs will progress from each pool of 12 to a round of 16, which will be played over two legs, while the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will consist of just one leg. Teams that make it to the final will play a total of nine matches.

Each province will play a French and an English side.

Leinster have been drawn in Pool A and will face Montpellier and 1998 Heineken Cup champions Bath, while Ulster will play Clermont Auvergne and 2000 Heineken Cup champions Northampton Saints in the same pool.

Munster have been drawn in Pool B and will face Castres Olympique and two-time European champions Wasps, while Connacht will play Stade Francais and two-time European champions Leicester Tigers.

Reigning European champions Toulouse will play Wasps and Cardiff in Pool B.

Check out the full Heineken Champions Cup pool draw below.

POOL A (with opponents in brackets)

Stade Rochelais (Bath Rugby, Glasgow Warriors)
Exeter Chiefs (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Glasgow Warriors)
Leinster Rugby (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Bath Rugby)
Racing 92 (Northampton Saints, Ospreys)
Sale Sharks (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys)
Ulster Rugby (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Northampton Saints)
ASM Clermont Auvergne (Sale Sharks, Ulster Rugby)
Northampton Saints (Racing 92, Ulster Rugby)
Ospreys (Racing 92, Sale Sharks)
Montpellier Hérault Rugby (Exeter Chiefs, Leinster Rugby)
Bath Rugby (Stade Rochelais, Leinster Rugby)
Glasgow Warriors (Stade Rochelais, Exeter Chiefs)

POOL B (with opponents in brackets)

Stade Toulousain (Wasps, Cardiff Rugby)
Harlequins (Castres Olympique, Cardiff Rugby)
Munster Rugby (Castres Olympique, Wasps)
Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Leicester Tigers, Scarlets)
Bristol Bears (Stade Français Paris, Scarlets)
Connacht Rugby (Stade Français Paris, Leicester Tigers)
Stade Français Paris (Bristol Bears, Connacht Rugby)
Leicester Tigers (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Connacht Rugby)
Scarlets (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Bristol Bears)
Castres Olympique (Harlequins, Munster Rugby)
Wasps (Stade Toulousain, Munster Rugby)
Cardiff Rugby (Stade Toulousain, Harlequins)

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