European Professional Club Rugby | Historic EPCR pool draws set the stage for 2022/23 season


Heineken Champions Cup holders Stade Rochelais will face Northampton Saints and Ulster Rugby in Pool B, while recently crowned URC winners Cape Town Stormers are also in Pool B and play home and away against London Irish. and ASM Clermont Auvergne.

Leicester Tigers, winners of the Gallagher Premiership final, will face Ospreys and Clermont in Pool B, and Montpellier Hérault Rugby, who won the TOP 14 title for the first time in the club’s history, will be opposed to the London Irish and the Ospreys again in Pool B.

URC finalists, the Bulls, will face Exeter and Lyon in Pool A, while the Sharks have also been drawn into Pool A where they will face Harlequins and Union Bordeaux-Bègles.

Four-time champions Leinster Rugby will once again face Gloucester Rugby and Racing 92 in Pool A, and Munster Rugby will renew their rivalry with Stade Toulousain and Northampton in Pool B.

In the EPCR Challenge Cup, newcomers Johannesburg Lions were drawn against Stade Français Paris and Worcester Warriors in Pool B, while the Cheetahs, who will play their “home” games in Europe , will face the Scarlets and Section Paloise also in Pool B.

For the Champions Cup draw, the 24 qualifying clubs were split into four tiers based on their TOP 14, Gallagher Premiership and URC rankings, before being drawn into two pools of 12 – Pool A and Pool B. Clubs from the same league in the same level were not drawn into the same pool.

Tier 1 and Tier 4 clubs that have been drawn in the same pool, but are not in the same league, will play each other home and away over four rounds of pool, as will clubs level 2 and level 3 that have been drawn. in the same group, but who are not in the same league.

The 20 clubs in the EPCR Challenge Cup have been divided into three tiers to create two pools of 10 – Pool A and Pool B. Clubs from the same league cannot play against each other during the pool stage .

Tier 1 and Tier 3 clubs that have been drawn in the same pool, but are not in the same league, will compete home and away over four pool rounds.

Tier 2 clubs that have been drawn in the same pool, but are not from the same league, will play each other home and away during the pool stage. In order to uphold the key principle of no same league matches, Tier 2 clubs in the TOP 14 will only play against URC opposition, and similarly, Tier 2 clubs in the Premiership will only play also against URC opposition.

The event, which was streamed live on, was hosted by Craig Doyle (BT Sport) and Laura Tarbouriech (EPCR) with Ben Kayser and Elma Smit as ball designers for the EPCR Challenge Cup, while Kayser and Heineken Ireland Managing Director Maarten Schuurman fired the balls for the Champions Cup pools. The scrutineer for the event was Joe Tynan from PwC Ireland.

Exact dates for the group stage matches of both tournaments, along with venues, kick-off times and TV coverage, will be announced as soon as possible following consultation with clubs and broadcasters.

The 2022/23 EPCR season will take place over eight weekends with four rounds of group stage matches starting in December, followed by a knockout stage consisting of a round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, culminating in the final in Dublin. at Aviva Stadium on May 19 and 20, 2023.


POOL A (with opponents in brackets)
Castres Olympique (Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh Rugby)
Saracens (Lyon, Edinburgh Rugby)
Bulls (Exeter Chiefs, Lyons)
Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Gloucester Rugby, Sharks)
Harlequins (Racing 92, Sharks)
Leinster Rugby (Running 92, Gloucester Rugby)
Race 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)

POOL B (with opponents in parentheses)
Montpellier Hérault Rugby (London Irish, Ospreys)
Leicester Tigers (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys)
Stormers (ASM Clermont Auvergne, London Irish)
Toulouse Stadium (Sale Sharks, Munster Rugby)
Northampton Saints (Stade Rochelais, Munster Rugby)
Ulster Rugby (Stade Rochelais, Sale Sharks)
Rochelais Stadium (Northampton Saints, Ulster Rugby)
Sale Sharks (Stade Toulousain, Ulster Rugby)
Munster Rugby (Stade Toulousain, Northampton Saints)
ASM Clermont Auvergne (Leicester Tigers, Stormers)
London Irish (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Stormers)
Ospreys (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Leicester Tigers)


POOL A (with opponents in brackets)
Glasgow Warriors (USAP, Bath Rugby)
RC Toulon (Zebra Parma, Bath Rugby)
Bristol Bear (Zebra Parma, USAP)
Connacht Rugby (CA Brive, Newcastle Falcons)
Cardiff Rugby (CA Brive, Newcastle Falcons)
CA Brive (Connacht Rugby, Cardiff Rugby)
Newcastle Falcons (Connacht Rugby, Cardiff Rugby)
Parma Zebra (Bristol Bear, RC Toulon)
USAP (Glasgow Warriors, Bristol Bears)
Bath Rugby (Glasgow Warriors, RC Toulon)

POOL B (with opponents in brackets)
Scarlets (Rowing Bayonnais, Cheetahs)
Pau Section (Dragons, Cheetahs)
Wasps (Rowing Bayonne, Dragons)
The Lions (Stade Francais Paris, Worcester Warriors)
Benetton Rugby (Stade Francais Paris, Worcester Warriors)
French Stadium Paris (Lions, Benetton Rugby)
Warriors of Worcester (Lions, Benetton Rugby)
Dragons (Section Paloise, Wasps)
Rowing Bayonne (Scarlets, Wasps)
Cheetahs (Scarlets, Section Paloise)

key dates 2022/23
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 – March 31/April 1/2, 2023
Quarter-finals – 7/8/9 April 2023
Semi-finals – 28/29/30 April 2023
EPCR Challenge Cup Final – Friday May 19, 2023; Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Heineken Champions Cup Final – Saturday May 20, 2023; Aviva Stadium, Dublin


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