Champions Cup draw: All you need to know
Ahead of the Heineken Champions Cup pool draw, we’ve collated all the information you need to know as the 24 elite clubs in the competition learn their opponents for the 2022/23 season.
When and where is it taking place?
The draw for the pools will be held at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Tuesday 28 June. The event starts at 12:00 (UK & Irish time) / 13:00 (SA & Italian time), with the Heineken Champions Cup draw taking place at approximately 12:25pm BST
Where can I watch it?
The draw will be streamed live on www.epcrugby.com, and there will be exclusive blog coverage from 11:30am
Who could Edinburgh be drawn against?
Edinburgh Rugby are in Tier 4 and will be drawn against Tier 1 opponents Leicester or Saracens, or Montpellier or Castres. The capital side will face two of these sides home and away.
Which clubs have qualified?
The Heineken Champions Cup draw, which will feature the DHL Stormers, Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks from South Africa for the first time, will include eight clubs each from the Gallagher Premiership, TOP 14 and United Rugby Championship (URC).
TOP 14: 1 Montpellier Hérault Rugby, 2 Castres Olympique, 3 Union Bordeaux-Bègles, 4 Stade Toulousain, 5 Stade Rochelais, 6 Racing 92, 7 ASM Clermont Auvergne, 8 Lyon
Gallagher Premiership: 1 Leicester Tigers, 2 Saracens, 3 Harlequins, 4 Northampton Saints, 5 Gloucester Rugby, 6 Sale Sharks, 7 Exeter Chiefs, 8 London Irish
United Rugby Championship: 1 Stormers, 2 Bulls, 3 Leinster Rugby, 4 Ulster Rugby, 5 Sharks, 6 Munster Rugby, 7 Edinburgh Rugby, 8 Ospreys
What are the key rules?
The number 1 and number 2 ranked clubs from each league will be in Tier 1, the number 3 and number 4 ranked clubs will be in Tier 2, the number 5 and 6 ranked clubs will be in Tier 3, and the number 7 and number 8 ranked clubs will be Tier 4.
The Tier 1 and the Tier 4 clubs which have been 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 have been drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league.
For example, the Stormers, who won the URC Grand Final, will be in Tier 1 and will be drawn against either ASM Clermont Auvergne or Lyon, and against either the Exeter Chiefs or London Irish from Tier 4.
Similarly, Leicester Tigers, who triumphed in the Premiership final, will also be in Tier 1 and will be drawn against either ASM Clermont Auvergne or Lyon, and against either Edinburgh Rugby or Ospreys from Tier 4.
Meanwhile, the recently-crowned French champions, Montpellier, will be drawn against either Exeter or London Irish, and against either Edinburgh or the Ospreys.
When will the matches take place?
Once the draw has been concluded, EPCR will begin to prepare the fixture schedule, with an announcement of exact dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage to follow as soon as practicable.
Round 1 – 9/10/11 December 2022
Round 2 – 16/17/18 December 2022
Round 3 – 13/14/15 January 2023
Round 4 – 20/21/22 January 2023
Round of 16 – 31 March/ 1/2 April 2023
Quarter-finals – 7/8/9 April 2023
Semi-finals – 28/29/30 April 2023
Heineken Champions Cup final – Saturday 20 May 2023 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin