Global stage set for Europe’s big-hitters


Less than eight weeks after Exeter Chiefs won the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time following a dramatic final, the tournament returns on Friday (December 11) with 24 clubs - including Dragons - battling it out for the most prestigious prize in club rugby.

With a new and dynamic format in place for the 2020/21 season, stars of the world game will line-up over four intense rounds of pool stage action with nine former tournament winners represented across the two pools including the holders who take on Glasgow Warriors first up at Sandy Park on Sunday week (13 December).

Three clubs who have tasted ultimate Heineken Champions Cup success are first into Round 1 action with 2000 winners Northampton Saints hosting Bordeaux-Bègles at Franklin’s Gardens, followed by the Kingspan Stadium meeting of Ulster Rugby and Toulouse who renew their rivalry on the back of last season’s quarter-final.

Once again, BT Sport will provide comprehensive broadcast coverage of the tournament in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

En route to adding a fourth star to their jersey, Leinster Rugby defeated Montpellier home and away in the 2017/18 season, and the Irish province make the return journey to the GGL Stadium in Round 1.

CLICK HERE for Heineken Champions Cup fixture and TV details

CLICK HERE for a guide to the new tournament format

Free-to-air audiences on Channel 4 and Virgin Media in the United Kingdom and Ireland can watch the last two winners of the Challenge Cup going head-to-head on Saturday (December 12) when Bristol Bears and ASM Clermont Auvergne clash at Ashton Gate.

Such a stellar line-up is fitting for the 25th season anniversary of the tournament’s affiliation with title partner and leading global beer brand, Heineken. EPCR Director General, Vincent Gaillard, said: "Celebrating a quarter-of-a-century partnership with Heineken, one of the few truly global brands, is a privilege that not many other sports properties can enjoy, and one which we value and cherish greatly. Together, we hope to make this landmark season one of the most enjoyable for our fans around the world."

Heineken Director, Hans Erik Tuijt, said: "Heineken is delighted to celebrate 25 years of our association with the Heineken Champions Cup. From the launch of the first Heineken Cup in 1995 and through its constant evolution since, Heineken and the pinnacle of European rugby has always gone hand in hand. Being title partner of the Heineken Champions Cup has provided us with the opportunity to support and create engaging experiences with fans, cementing our long heritage and commitment to the game of rugby and this fantastic tournament."

We hope to make this landmark season one of the most enjoyable for our fans around the world...
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