Champions Cup pool draw

Find out who Leinster, Munster and Ulster will face in Europe next season

Gavin Cummiskey Wed, Jun 20
 
LIVE: Champions Cup pool draw

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  • This event has now ended
  • 13:33
  • 13:45
    Afternoon. Gavin Cummiskey here for the next hour or so to bring you the Champions Cup draw (rugby inches towards the off season).
  • 13:45
  • 13:45
  • 13:46
    Sorry, spot of rugby and concussion pouring into Champions Cup info...
  • 13:46
    Munster Rugby have been out in front of the media info (never thought I'd type that) with a good handle on the Pool draw (happening around 2.20pm).
  • 13:48
    Draw is happening in Lausanne, Switzerland - the new home of European rugby and the Court of Arbitration (where dopers go to get their bans reduced).
  • 13:48
    Tier 1 clubs:

    Castres Olympique (TOP 14 winners)

    Saracens (Premiership winners)

    Leinster Rugby (PRO14 winners)

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    NB (via Munster twitter): Once the Tier 1 clubs are established, the five Tier 2 clubs can be confirmed as follows: the three third-ranked clubs in the leagues – Racing 92, Wasps and Glasgow Warriors – will be joined by XXXXXXX who were not drawn into Tier 1, and by the fourth-ranked club from the same league as the club which was not drawn into Tier 1.
  • 13:48
  • 13:49
    Tier 2 clubs

    Racing 92

    Wasps

    Glasgow Warriors

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)
  • 13:50
    BT Sport currently showing Teddy Thomas tear Munsetr asunder in Bordeaux. No Zebo until second half. Shocking defence out wide.

    What odds Racing 92 and Munster get pooled together. Has to happen.
  • 13:50
    Tier 2 clubs

    Racing 92

    Wasps

    Glasgow Warriors

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)
  • 13:50
    So Munster could be a third seed.
  • 13:51
    Tier 3 clubs

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)

    Toulouse

    Leicester Tigers

    Edinburgh Rugby
  • 13:51
    And finally tier 4...
  • 13:51
    Tier 4 clubs

    RC Toulon

    Bath Rugby

    Cardiff Blues

    Ulster Rugby

    Gloucester Rugby
  • 13:52
    So Leinster could get Racing and Toulon. That would be fun.
  • 13:52
  • 13:53
    BT's Craig Doyle did some extra filming in Bilbao last month to tee up today's draw. Great city.
  • 13:54
    While we wait for the draw to start here's some David Nucofra quotes from his media briefing in Sydney this week...
  • 13:54
    On Schmidt staying forever: “I don’t think it’s money that really drives Joe. That’s not him. What really drives him? The opportunity to be successful is what drives most coaches. They want to win. Like players, they want to win. So, I suggest that if he feels that he’s done everything that he can do and achieved everything he can do, that he may look to go. But he’s his own man, and he could very well surprise us all at the last minute and say that he wants to stay on for another term.”
  • 13:56
    On Carbery to Munster: “I don’t think we need a complete draft system. No one wants to take away the identity of the teams but at the same time no one wants to see the Ireland team doing poorly and if we don’t make the right decisions out of the right times, it’s no good us sitting back in 2019 having a whinge about why something didn’t work and why we got knocked out in the quarter-finals again.
    “We are not New Zealand and we’re not trying to create a New Zealand system.
    “We’ve got an Irish system. It’s carefully balanced around the need for movement and for opportunity and for development, while keeping the parochialism within the provinces that drives them. Let’s not get to a point where it becomes a handbrake or a hurdle for us. It’s got to work hand-in-hand with where we are all going.”
  • 13:57
    Nucifora on Jackson and Olding playing for Ireland again: "The players now have found new contracts so that’s a positive for them personally, individually, and everyone just has to move on from that. For the immediate future, there’s no thought that they will be considered. They are playing overseas so at the moment, if you’re playing overseas, you’re not considered.”
  • 13:58
    The draw is live here: https://www.epcrugby.com/vi...
  • 13:59
    Next year's final is May 11th at St James Park, Newcastle (ideal stag territory).
  • 13:59
    Key principles of the draw:

    – 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.
  • 14:00
    Nucifora on AIL: “Our ambition is that the A-League would complement the AIL and to eventually run seamlessly into each other; allowing for the best players not playing Pro 14 week-to-week to be available to play club rugby.”

    Story brewing there.
  • 14:01
    Five Pools four teams in each.
    Coverage has started on BT2 from Lausanne in Switzerland (rugby tax haaven).

  • 14:02
    Rafa Ibanez is running the show. Serious media man is Rafa.
  • 14:02
    Tier 1 clubs

    Castres Olympique (TOP 14 winners)

    Saracens (Premiership winners)

    Leinster Rugby (PRO14 winners)

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)
  • 14:03
    Don't bother putting on BT2. Awful show. Jumping between French and English. Stay here.
  • 14:03
  • 14:03
    Tier 2 clubs

    Racing 92

    Wasps

    Glasgow Warriors

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)
  • 14:03
    Tier 3 clubs

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)

    Toulouse

    Leicester Tigers

    Edinburgh Rugby
  • 14:03

    The Pool Draw for the 2018/19 Heineken Champions Cup will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland, today at approximately 2.20pm Irish time.
    The 20 clubs which have qualified from the TOP 14, Premiership Rugby and the Guinness PRO14 will compete in the 2018/19 Champions Cup in five pools of four.

    The clubs are divided into four tiers based on their status as championship winners and on their qualification positions in their league tables.

    Three teams are confirmed for Tier 1 (Castres Olympique, Saracens, Leinster). The remaining two teams for Tier 1 will be decided by a separate draw in advance of the main pool draw. Two teams out of Montpellier, Exeter Chiefs and Scarlets will be placed in Tier 1 with the third going into Tier 2.

    Munster, ranked fourth of the Guinness PRO14 clubs, will be placed in Tier 2 if Scarlets are not drawn into Tier 1 (33% chance of happening) or Tier 3 if Scarlets are drawn into Tier 1 (67% chance of happening).

    Tier 1 clubs

    Castres Olympique (TOP 14 winners)

    Saracens (Premiership winners)

    Leinster Rugby (PRO14 winners)

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    Step 2

    Once the Tier 1 clubs are established, the five Tier 2 clubs can be confirmed as follows: the three third-ranked clubs in the leagues – Racing 92, Wasps and Glasgow Warriors – will be joined by XXXXXXX who were not drawn into Tier 1, and by the fourth-ranked club from the same league as the club which was not drawn into Tier 1.

    Tier 2 clubs

    Racing 92

    Wasps

    Glasgow Warriors

    XXXXXXXX (Montpellier/Exeter Chiefs/Scarlets)

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)

    Step 3

    Once the Tier 2 clubs are established, the five Tier 3 clubs can be confirmed as follows: the two remaining fourth-ranked clubs, XXXXXXX and XXXXXXXX, and the three fifth-ranked clubs, Toulouse, Leicester Tigers and Edinburgh Rugby.

    Tier 3 clubs

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)

    XXXXXXXX (Munster/Newcastle Falcons/Lyon)

    Toulouse

    Leicester Tigers

    Edinburgh Rugby

    Tier 4 clubs

    RC Toulon

    Bath Rugby

    Cardiff Blues

    Ulster Rugby

    Gloucester Rugby
  • 14:05
    Racing and Munster together would be pretty funny.
    Puts Donnacha Ryan and Simon Zebo in the, eh, shop window for World Cup selection.

    Remember, Ireland are likely to face Rassie's Springboks in QF...All the foreign based players on back on deck in South Africa.
  • 14:05
    Coachless, CEO-less, S&C-less, Tommy Bowe-less Ulster still made it into the Champions Cup:

    Tier 4 clubs

    RC Toulon

    Bath Rugby

    Cardiff Blues

    Ulster Rugby

    Gloucester Rugby
  • 14:06
    Austin Healy has a no talking role today. Along with Dimitri Yachvili.
  • 14:06
    Challenge Cup first up.
    This is very complicated.
    Enjoy your lunch and we'll post Pools when we get them.
  • 14:07
  • 14:08
    Yachvili and Austin Healy really drew the short straw today.
    Hope they are well paid.
  • 14:09
    Oh yeah, It's called the HEINEKEN Champions Cup again.
  • 14:09
    BT Sport have wrestled control of the competition from Sky Sports.
    There will be games on terrestrial TV.
  • 14:10
    DO NOT TUNE INTO DRAW - mind numbingly boring and confusing.
  • 14:10
  • 14:11
    FYI:
    Ireland have announced they will play Argentina, New Zealand and USA in this year’s autumn Guinness Series in three evening matches with the game against the All Blacks kicking of at 7.00pm in Aviva Stadium on November 17th.

    Story by J Watterson: https://www.irishtimes.com/...
  • 14:12
    Connacht's draw coming up...
  • 14:13
    Connacht have avoided Northampton Saints and Clermont.
  • 14:13
    Pau and Ospreys in Pool 2.
  • 14:13
  • 14:14
    Connacht are in Pool 3 with Sale Sharks.
  • 14:15
    AJ MacGinty v Connacht. Of course. What might have been. The Dublin born USA outhalf kicked 15 points in victory over Scotland last Saturday in Texas.
  • 14:16
    MacGinty just signed a low term deal at Sharks.
    He plays Ireland on November 26th.
    86% kicking return last season.
  • 14:16
    Pool 3:
    Sale
    Connacht
    Bordeaux

    Tasty.
  • 14:16
  • 14:17
    Pool 3 of Challenge Cup (so far):
    Connacht
    Sale Sharks (AJ MacGinty)
    Bordeaux Begles
  • 14:19
    Pool 3 of Challenge Cup:
    Sale Sharks
    Connacht
    Bordeaux-Begles
    PERPIGNAN AND Paddy Jackson.
  • 14:20
    Perpignan's new outhalf Paddy Jackson will return to Ireland to face Connacht in the Challenge Cup.
  • 14:21
    The Paddy Jackson story will run and run next season, as he returns to Galway for a Challenge Cup fixture.

    No chance of out of sight, out of mind, as he rebuilds his career in France.
  • 14:21
  • 14:22
    Interestingly, two of the best young outhalves produced by Irish rugby - AJ MacGinty and Paddy Jackson - will square off in the Challenge Cup.

    Sale v Perpignan
  • 14:23
    MacGinty is a US international since 2015 while the IRFU tore up Jackson's contract following the Belfast rape trial (when he was found not guilty).
  • 14:23
  • 14:23
    The date for Jackson and Perpignan's visit to The Sportsground TBC.
  • 14:24
    Jackson has signed a two year deal to join the recently promoted Catalan club.
  • 14:26
    David Nucifroa - the IRFU performance director (aka the chief) - on Jackson and Olding:


    “For the immediate future, there’s no thought that they will be considered [for Ireland]. They are playing overseas so at the moment, if you’re playing overseas, you’re not considered.”

    “The players now have found new contracts so that’s a positive for them personally, individually, and everyone just has to move on from that. It was a tough year in regards to that for the players, for Ulster and for rugby in general. Hopefully, we don’t go through that ever again.”
  • 14:27
    Perpignan v Connacht (both legs) will create huge interest in Ireland.
    Add injury to you know who or any Ireland outhalf and the temperature of sponsors will need checking...
  • 14:28
    As is stands, Paddy Jackson and Ian Madigan will not be considered for Ireland selection while playing club rugby in France and England.

    Same goes for SImon Zebo.

    Champions Cup draw coming up now.
  • 14:29
    Want to see draw for yourself?

    https://www.pscp.tv/w/1lDxL...
  • 14:29
    Big news arising out of Challenge Cup with Perpignan (Paddy Jackson), Connacht and Sale Sharks (AJ MacGinty) drawn in Pool 3.
  • 14:30
    FYI: Andy Friend is the new Connacht coach.
    Plenty of good noises about the Australian from Down Under.
  • 14:31
    Is Perpignan the only reunion draw or can Racing get an Irish province?


    ZEBOZEBOZEBO
  • 14:32
    Breaking: Austin Healy has not spoken a single word. What an earner.
  • 14:32
    Live from Lausanne ("THE NEW HOME OF EUROPEAN RUGBY") here comes the preliminary draw.
  • 14:33
    Correction: Healy just said "Montpellier"
  • 14:33
    Ok, Montpellier and Scarlets re in tier 1
  • 14:33
  • 14:34
  • 14:35
    Munster in tier 3 now. They can get Racing 92.
  • 14:35
  • 14:38
    Pool 1 Leinster
    Pool 2 Castres
    Pool 3 Saracens
    Pool 4 Scarlets ( the nearly men just lost Tadhg Beirne but have signed plenty of South Africans)
    Pool 5 Montpellier
  • 14:39
    Pool 1
    Leinster and Wasps.
  • 14:39
  • 14:39
    Pool 5
    Montpellier and Newcastle Falcons
  • 14:40
    Pool 4
    Scarlets and Racing 92

    #Zebo
  • 14:40
    Pool 2
    Castres and Exeter Chiefs

    Pool 3
    Saracens and Glasgow
  • 14:41
  • 14:42
    Pool 1 Leinster, Wasps
    Pool 2 Castres, Exeter, MUNSTER
    Pool 3 Saracens, Racing 92,
    Pool 4 Scarlets, Glasgow
    Pool 5 Montpellier, Newcastle
  • 14:42
  • 14:43
    Pool 1 LEINSTER, Wasps, Toulouse
    Pool 2 Castres, Exeter, MUNSTER
    Pool 3 Saracens, Racing 92, Lyon
    Pool 4 Scarlets, Glasgow, Leicester Tigers
    Pool 5 Montpellier (Daniel Brennan), Newcastle, Edinburgh
  • 14:43
    BTW: Paddy Jackson's Perpignan have drawn Connacht in Challenge Cup.
  • 14:44
    Pool 1 LEINSTER, Wasps, Toulouse
    Pool 2 Castres, Exeter, MUNSTER, Gloucester
    Pool 3 Saracens, Racing 92, Lyon
    Pool 4 Scarlets, Glasgow, Leicester Tigers
    Pool 5 Montpellier (Daniel Brennan's new club), Newcastle, Edinburgh
  • 14:44
    Pool 2 Castres, Exeter, MUNSTER, Gloucester

    Munster gave a very nice draw.
  • 14:45
    Leinster avoid Toulon
  • 14:45
  • 14:46
    Pool 1 LEINSTER, Wasps, Toulouse, Bath.
    Pool 2 Castres, Exeter, MUNSTER, Gloucester.
    Pool 3 Saracens, Racing 92, Lyon, Cardiff Blues.
    Pool 4 Scarlets, Glasgow, Leicester Tigers
    Pool 5 Montpellier (Daniel Brennan's new club), Newcastle, Edinburgh, Toulon.
  • 14:46
    Leinster gets sticky group v Wasps, Toulouse and Bath
  • 14:47
    Champions Cup draw:

    Pool 1 LEINSTER, Wasps, Toulouse, Bath.
    Pool 2 Castres, Exeter, MUNSTER, Gloucester.
    Pool 3 Saracens, Racing 92, Lyon, Cardiff Blues.
    Pool 4 Scarlets, Glasgow, Leicester Tigers, ULSTER.
    Pool 5 Montpellier (Daniel Brennan's new club), Newcastle, Edinburgh, Toulon.
  • 14:47
  • 14:47
  • 14:50
    Champions Cup

    Pool 1 LEINSTER, Wasps, Toulouse, Bath.
    Pool 2 Castres, Exeter, MUNSTER, Gloucester.
    Pool 3 Saracens, Glasgow, Lyon, Cardiff Blues.
    Pool 4 Scarlets, Racing 92, Leicester Tigers, ULSTER.
    Pool 5 Montpellier (Daniel Brennan's new club), Newcastle, Edinburgh, Toulon.
  • 14:50
  • 14:51
  • 14:51
    Simon Zebo's Racing 92 will visit Belfast in Champions Cup.

    Paddy Jackson's Perpignan will visit Galway in Challenge Cup.