Heineken Champions Cup Draw

Following the conclusion of the first season of Vodacom United Rugby Championship action, the success of the South African contingent has earned three of the four local teams inclusion in the hugely prestigious Heineken Champions Cup.

On Tuesday 28 June, the draw was made for both the Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup with the Cell C Sharks set to play French outfit Union Bordeaux-Bègles and England’s Harlequins on a home and away basis in their search for qualification for the round of 16 and knock-outs.

The 24 qualified clubs, pit the top eight finishers in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, England’s Gallagher Premiership and France’s TOP 14 against one another in two pools, with the Cell C Sharks drawn in Pool A with fellow South Africans, the Vodacom Bulls.

The 12 teams in each pool are ranked in four tiers based on their final pool standings from their respective competitions

POOL A (with opponents in brackets)

Castres Olympique (Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh Rugby)

Saracens (Lyon, Edinburgh Rugby)

Bulls (Exeter Chiefs, Lyon)

Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Gloucester Rugby, Sharks)

Harlequins (Racing 92, Sharks)

Leinster Rugby (Racing 92, Gloucester Rugby)

Racing 92 (Harlequins, Leinster Rugby)

Gloucester Rugby (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Leinster Rugby)

Sharks (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Harlequins)

Lyon (Saracens, Bulls)

Exeter Chiefs (Castres Olympique, Bulls)

Edinburgh Rugby (Castres Olympique, Saracens)

Key Dates:

Round 1 – 9/10/11 December 2022

Round 2 – 16/17/18 December 2022

Round 3 – 13/14/15 January 2023

Round 4 – 20/21/22 January 2023

Round of 16 – 31 March/ 1/2 April 2023

Quarter-finals – 7/8/9 April 2023

Semi-finals – 28/29/30 April 2023

Heineken Champions Cup final – Saturday 20 May 2023; Aviva Stadium, Dublin