Banner image

Challenge Cup draw to take place on June 20th

The Pool Draws for the 2018/19 Challenge Cup and Heineken Champions Cup tournaments will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland on Wednesday, June 20th.

The event will start at 14.00 (UK and Irish time) with the draw for the Challenge Cup pools, which will be followed immediately by the draw for the Heineken Champions Cup pools.

Both draws will be streamed live on www.epcrugby.com and additional live television coverage will be confirmed nearer the event date.

The event comperes in Lausanne will be Sarra Elgan (BT Sport) and Raphaël Ibañez (France Télévisions), with Dimitri Yachvili (beIN SPORTS) and Austin Healey (BT Sport) conducting the draws.

Twenty clubs from Gallagher Premiership Rugby, the Guinness PRO14 and the TOP 14 have qualified on merit for the Heineken Champions Cup. The clubs will be divided into four tiers of five and a preliminary draw will be conducted to establish Tier 1 with two of the three second-ranked clubs – Exeter Chiefs, Scarlets and Montpellier – joining Heineken Champions Cup and PRO14 winners, Leinster, Premiership winners, Saracens, and TOP 14 winners, Castres, in the top tier.
 
Once Tier 1 has been established, the remaining three tiers will fall into place. Tier 2 will include the three third-ranked clubs from the leagues – Wasps, Glasgow Warriors and Racing 92 – as well as the second-ranked club which was not drawn into Tier 1 and the fourth-ranked club from the same league as the club which was not drawn into Tier 1.

Tier 3 will include the two clubs ranked fourth which are not in Tier 2 as well as the three fifth-ranked clubs from each league – Leicester Tigers, Edinburgh Rugby and Toulouse.

Tier 4 is complete and contains 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.

When the tiers are completed, the main draw for the five pools will be made, and during the draw, some clubs may have to be placed directly into a pool in order to ensure that the key principles apply.

Sale Sharks, Benetton Rugby and La Rochelle are confirmed among the Tier 1 clubs for the Challenge Cup draw which will be conducted on similar lines with four tiers and five pools.

Timisoara Saracens of Romania, who reached the penultimate stage of last season’s Continental Shield, will be included among the 20 competing clubs along with the Shield winners from Bilbao, Russia’s Enisei-STM.

In Tier 4, Stade Francais Paris, Pro D2 winners, Perpignan, and Grenoble will be drawn into pools which contain one other TOP 14 club.

Click HERE for a detailed explanation of the Challenge Cup pool draw.