It begins with the Challenge Cup draw, followed by the Champions Cup, below we explain how the draws will unfold. Watch them live and leave your comments.
15:00 Here is the lowdown from the draw
14:50 Saracens, two-time winners, will surely fancy their chances of getting out of this pool
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) June 20, 2018
14:48 So a recap
Pool 1: Leinster, Wasps, Toulouse and Bath
Pool 2: Castres, Exeter, Munster and Gloucester
Pool 3: Saracens, Glasgow, Lyon and Cardiff Blues
Pool 4: Scarlets, Racing 92, Leicester and Ulster Rugby
Pool 5: Montpellier, Newcastle Falcons, Edinburgh and Toulon
14:47 Just the 11 Champions Cup trophies between the four teams in Pool 1 – wow!
CONFIRMED: Our 2018/19 Heineken Champions Cup pool is…
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) June 20, 2018
14:45 Gloucester Rugby, beaten finalists in the Challenge Cup, are in Pool 2, Cardiff Blues are in Pool 3, three-time winners Toulon are in Pool 5, Bath are in Pool 1. Ulster are in Pool 4. And we’re done
14:41 Pool 5 for Edinburgh, Munster are in Pool 2 with Castres and Exeter, Lyon in Pool 3, Leicester Tigers in Pool 4, Toulouse are in Pool 1. Pool 1 with Leinster, Wasps and Toulouse – that’s a lot of trophies between them!
14:40 Newcastle Falcons are in Pool 5 with Montpellier, Racing 92 are in Pool 4 with the Scarlets, Premiership runners-up are in Pool 2 with Castres, Glasgow Warriors in Pool 3 with Saracens
14:39 2004 and 2007 winners Wasps are in Pool 1 with defending champions Leinster
14:32 Montpellier and Scarlets drawn into Tier 1 with Saracens, Castres and Leinster
14:28 Drum roll please, the Champions Cup draw is about to start, EPCR currently in montage mode
14:26 Dragons fans, fear not it’s the Romanian Saracens you’re facing, not the English one’s in the Challenge Cup
Pool 1 – Northampton, Clermont, Dragons, Saracens ??
Pool 2 – Pau, Ospreys, Worcester, Stade
Pool 3 – Sale Sharks, Connacht, Bordeaux-Begles, Perpignan
Pool 4 – La Rochelle, Zebre, Bristol, Enisei-sTM
Pool 5 – Benetton Rugby, Harlequins, Agen, Grenoble#ChallengeCupDraw
— Dragons ? (@dragonsrugby) June 20, 2018
14:21 Pool 3 earns the ‘Group of Death’ title Sale Sharks, Connacht, Bordeaux and Perpignan, a trip home to Ireland for Jackson too
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) June 20, 2018
14:19 Grenoble in Pool 5
14:17 Bernard Jackman will given a headache with the Dragons in with Clermont and Northampton
14:16 Bristol Bears in Pool 4 along with La Rochelle
14:13 Connacht in Pool 3 with Sale Sharks
14:12 Ouch, Northampton have Clermont Auvergne join them in Pool 1, Ospreys in Pool 2 with Pau
14:11 2002 and 2005 Challenge Cup winners Sale Sharks into Pool 3, Pau in Pool 2, Benetton Rugby in Pool 5, highly fancied La Rochelle in Pool 4 and Northampton Saints in Pool 1. Phew, the draw without a hitch so far, Yashvili and Healy playing a blinder
14:07 Northampton and Pau go into the top pool for the Challenge Cup alongside top seeds Sale Sharks, Benetton Rugby and La Rochelle
14:05 While they’re chatting, want to know how good Paddy Jackson’s French is?
— Usap (@usap_officiel) June 19, 2018
13:59 Not sure what this Scarlet tweet says, check out Google translate, but the Scarlets, knocked out at the semi-final stage last year are in the draw for the Champions Cup
CWPAN PENCAMPWYR | Cofiwch bod grwpiau Cwpan Pencampwyr Ewrop yn cael eu dewis heddiw, yn fyw o 2pm. Ymunwch â ni ym Mar Calon ac Enaid neu gwyliwch yn fyw yma ?? https://t.co/WWceLU8UA8 #ynypac pic.twitter.com/4qPITKYKs9
— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) June 20, 2018
13:53 Northampton were the 2000 Heineken Cup winners, they’re in the Challenge Cup next season, a European debut for new Director of Rugby Chris Boyd. A reminder the Challenge Cup draw is first up, followed by the Heineken Champions Cup
? Not long now!
Find out who we'll be facing in @ERChallengeCup live at 2pm at the below link
— Northampton Saints ? (@SaintsRugby) June 20, 2018
1349: Champions Cup holders Leinster getting geared up
— Leinster Rugby (@leinsterrugby) June 20, 2018
13:40 The people responsible for trying to drum up some drama and tension will be presenter Sarra Elgan along with a few lads who could chuck a rugby ball a bit – Raphael Ibanez, Austin Healy and Dimitri Yachvili
13:32 It at the Olympic Museum, quite the fancy location from the EPCR!
13:30 The draw is taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland – not exactly a famous rugby hotbed…
Champions Cup Draw Explained:
In the Champions Cup Leinster, Saracens and Castres as champions of their respective leagues are top seeds. Here is a breakdown of the draw.
Tier 1 has Leinster, Saracens and Castres, joining them will be two of the three second-ranked clubs – Exeter Chiefs, Scarlets and Montpellier.
Tier 2 will have Wasps, Glasgow Warriors and Racing 92, along with the second-ranked team which didn’t make it into Tier 1 (one of Exeter Chiefs, Scarlets and Montpellier) and the fourth ranked club from the same league
Tier 4 is already decided and complete. It has the sixth-ranked clubs from each league – Bath Rugby, Challenge Cup winners, Cardiff Blues, and RC Toulon – as well as Ulster Rugby and Gloucester Rugby.
- Each pool will have at least one club from each of the three leagues.
- Each of the five pools will have one club from each of the four tiers.
- There will be no more than two clubs from the same league in a pool.
- No pool will contain two PRO14 clubs from the same country.
- Clubs from the same league will be kept apart until the allocation of the Tier 4 clubs.
Challenge Cup Draw Explained:
Sale Sharks, Benetton Rugby and Jonno Gibbes’ future club La Rochelle are the top seeds. Here is a breakdown of the draw.
Tier 1 Sale Sharks, Benetton Rugby and La Rochelle, along with two of the three second-ranked clubs from the TOP 14, Premiership or the PRO14. The two clubs will be decided by a draw in advance of the pool draw proper
Tier 2 has ASM Clermont Auvergne, Paul Gustard’s Harlequins and Connacht Rugby, along with the the second-ranked club who didn’t make it into Tier 1, along with the fourth-ranked club from the same league as the club which wasn’t in Tier 1
Tier 3 will have Agen, newly promoted Premiership side Bristol Bears, Dragons along with the two remaining fourth-ranked clubs
Tier 4 contains Stade Francais Paris, Paddy Jackson’s new club Perpignan, Grenoble, Russian side Enisei-STM, and Romanian club Timisoara Saracens
Along with Sale, the Premiership clubs involved are Chris Boyd’s Northampton, Harlequins with new head coach Paul Gustard, Worcester Warriors and newly promoted Bristol Bears, under Pat Lam who has recent experience of this competition with Connacht.
The PRO14 clubs in the hat are Benetton, Ospreys, Connacht, Zebre and Dragons
The Top 14 clubs are last season’s Champions Cup quarter-finalists La Rochelle, Pau, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Bordeaux-Begles, Agen, Stade Francais, PRO D2 champions Perpignan and Grenoble.
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