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5 teams handed home ties as Champions Cup restart details confirmed

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Ryan Hiscott/INPHO via EPCR)

EPCR have announced revised tournament formats for the 2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments, explaining that both competitions will resume with rounds of 16 matches on the weekend of April 2. The draw for the rounds of 16 and quarter-final matches in both tournaments will be decided by draws on March 9. 


The eight highest-ranked clubs in Pool A and the eight highest-ranked clubs in Pool B at the time of the suspension of the Champions Cup in January have qualified for the round of 16 and in the draw, clubs from the same league cannot be drawn against one another but clubs from either pool can be drawn against one another.

A further agreed key principle of the draw will ensure that clubs that have won both pool stage matches on the pitch – where results were not impacted by Covid-19 – will play at home in the round of 16. Therefore, Racing 92, Leinster, Wasps, Bordeaux and Munster will each be guaranteed a home fixture.

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Who were the best players of round two of the Six Nations?

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Who were the best players of round two of the Six Nations?

The clubs which are not drawn against either Racing 92, Leinster, Wasps, Bordeaux-Bègles or Munster will have their opponents, and whether they will be playing at home or away, determined as part of the draw.

In the Challenge Cup, clubs that have won both preliminary stage matches on the pitch will play at home in the round of 16. Therefore, London Irish, Ospreys and Leicester Tigers will each be guaranteed a home fixture.

Heineken Champions Cup: Racing 92, Leinster, Wasps, Bordeaux, Munster, Lyon, Toulouse, La Rochelle, Scarlets, Clermont, Bristol, Exeter, Edinburgh, Gloucester, Toulon, Sale
Challenge Cup: London Irish, Ospreys, Leicester, Cardiff, Zebre, Agen, Benetton, Newcastle, Ulster, Connacht, Northampton, Bath, Montpellier, Dragons, Harlequins, Glasgow

Knockout Stage Draws: Tuesday, March 9
Rounds of 16: April 2/3/4
Quarter-finals: April  9/10/11
Semi-finals: April 30-May 1/2
Challenge Cup final: Marseille – Friday, May 21
Heineken Champions Cup final: Marseille – Saturday, May 22


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Jon 7 hours ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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