Having last season become the first Premiership club to win Europe’s blue-riband club tournament for the third time, reigning champions Saracens will begin the defence of their title with a mouthwatering Heineken Champions Cup clash against Racing 92 at Paris La Defense Arena on Sunday, 17 November.
The Pool 4 confrontation is only one of a host of top-quality matches in the fixture schedules for all six rounds of the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup which have been announced by tournament organisers EPCR.
The opening round will also see Bath pitted against Ulster in Pool 3 at the Recreation Ground on November 16, while the first shots of the landmark 25th season of European professional club rugby will be fired when Toulouse, the winners of the inaugural tournament in 1996 and the current TOP 14 champions, travel to Gloucester on November 15.
Last May’s beaten finalists Leinster, the reigning Guinness PRO14 champions, take on Benetton, who last season became the first Italian club to qualify by right for Europe’s top tier, at the RDS in Pool 1 on November 16 and the Irish province will then come up against a resurgent Northampton Saints in the key December back-to-back matches.
Clermont, who won the 2019 Challenge Cup in such impressive style, will once again pack out the Stade Marcel-Michelin for their opening Pool 3 game against Harlequins also on November 16.
? 2019/20 FIXTURES ARE HERE ?
*All kick offs local time
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) August 23, 2019
Other highlights of the crucial back-to-back fixtures in Rounds 3 and 4 include the meetings of Munster and Saracens, as well as the head-to-heads between Bath and Clermont, Glasgow Warriors and La Rochelle, and Harlequins and Ulster.
Ahead of the 2020 finals in Marseille next May, all 60 matches in Rounds 1 to 6 of the Heineken Champions Cup will be broadcast live in the UK, Ireland and Italy on either BT Sport, Channel 4, Virgin Media or DAZN, and in France on beIN SPORTS and France Télévisions.
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Double champions ? ? ? ? Are @saracensofficial the best team in the world right now? ?? ? Get your ticket for Marseille next year to see Europe's elite challenge for the #Heineken #ChampionsCup by following the link in our bio ? ? ? #saracensrugby #leinsterrugby #rugby #final #europeanrugby #marseille2020
This season, the Challenge Cup has seven former European title winners – Brive, Cardiff Blues, Leicester Tigers, Pau, Toulon, Stade Francais and Wasps – in its ranks and the tournament kicks off on November 15 with the Pool 1 meeting of Enisei-STM and Worcester in Krasnodar, the clash of Agen and Edinburgh at Stade Armandie, as well as the all-French match-ups between Bayonne and Toulon, and Stade Francais and Brive.
The following day, Leicester take on Pau at Welford Road, the Scarlets and the Dragons are at home against London Irish and Castres Olympique respectively, Wasps are at Bordeaux-Begles, Bristol host Zebre and the Cardiff make the journey to Calvisano.
In addition to confirming the fixtures schedule, EPCR can rubber-stamped that for at least the 2019/20 season a player who is a UK citizen will be regarded as a European player for the purposes of its tournaments.
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