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Revised 2020/21 EPCR tournament formats announced

Following in-depth discussions with its shareholder leagues and unions, EPCR can today (Wednesday, February 24th) announce revised tournament formats for the 2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

Both tournaments will resume with Rounds of 16 matches on the weekend of April 2nd/3rd/4th and the knockout stages will continue with quarter-finals, semi-finals and the scheduled Marseille finals on EPCR’s allocated weekends in April and May.

As approved by the EPCR Board, the Rounds of 16 and quarter-final matches in both tournaments will now be decided by draws which will take place on Tuesday, March 9th.

Regarding the Heineken Champions Cup, 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 tournament have qualified for the Round of 16.

Click HERE for Heineken Champions Cup standings

For the purposes of the draw, clubs from the same league cannot be drawn against one another, however, clubs from either pool can be drawn against one another.

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

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.

Regarding the Challenge Cup, the eight highest-ranked clubs from the preliminary stage at the time of the suspension of the tournament and the eight clubs which have not qualified for the knockout stage of Heineken Champions Cup will compete in the Round of 16.

For the purposes of the draw, clubs from the same league cannot be drawn against one another, however, Challenge Cup clubs and Heineken Champions Cup clubs can be drawn against one another.

Clubs which have won both Challenge Cup preliminary stage matches on the pitch - ie. where results were not impacted by COVID-19 – will play at home in the Round of 16. Therefore, London Irish, Ospreys and Leicester Tigers will each be guaranteed a home fixture.


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