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EPCR Challenge Cup Draw Update

20/06/2022

The pool draws for the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup tournaments will be staged at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, 28 June. Both draws will be streamed live on www.epcrugby.com and the event will start at 12noon with the draw for the EPCR Challenge Cup pools which will be followed by the Heineken Champions Cup draw.

The live-streamed draw for the EPCR Challenge Cup pools, which includes the Johannesburg-based Lions and the Cheetahs from Bloemfontein, will have 20 clubs in three tiers in order to create two pools of 10 – Pool A and Pool B.

Clubs from the same league will not play against one another during the pool stage. 

The number 1 and number 2 ranked clubs from the URC, the TOP 14 and the Premiership will be in Tier 1, the number 3 and number 4 ranked clubs from each league, as well as the number 5 and number 6 ranked clubs from the URC, will be in Tier 2.

The Dragons, Zebre Parma, USAP, Aviron Bayonnais, Bath Rugby and the Cheetahs will be in Tier 3. The Tier 1 and the Tier 3 clubs which have been drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league, will play one another home and away over four pool stage rounds.

The Tier 2 clubs which have been drawn in the same pool, but which are not from the same league, will play one another home and away during the pool stage.

In order to adhere to the key principle of no same-league matches, Tier 2 clubs from the TOP 14 will only play against opposition from the URC, and similarly, Tier 2 clubs from the Premiership will also only play against opposition from the URC. For example, in Tier 2, the Lions will play against either Stade Francais Paris or CA Brive, and against either Worcester Warriors or Newcastle Falcons.

Once the draws have been concluded, EPCR will prepare the fixture schedules for both tournaments with an announcement of exact dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage to follow as soon as practicable.

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

2022/23 EPCR CHALLENGE CUP QUALIFIERS

United Rugby Championship: 1 Glasgow Warriors, 2 Scarlets, 3 Connacht Rugby, 4 Lions, 5 Benetton Rugby, 6 Cardiff Rugby, 7 Dragons, 8 Zebre Parma

TOP 14: 1 RC Toulon, 2 Section Paloise, 3 Stade Français Paris, 4 CA Brive, 5 USAP 6 Aviron Bayonnais

Gallagher Premiership: 1 Wasps, 2 Bristol Bears, 3 Worcester Warriors, 4 Newcastle Falcons, 5 Bath Rugby Invited: Cheetahs

EPCR Challenge Cup pool draw tiers

Tier 1: Glasgow Warriors, Scarlets, RC Toulon, Section Paloise, Wasps, Bristol Bears

Tier 2: Connacht Rugby, Lions, Benetton Rugby, Cardiff Rugby, Stade Francais Paris, CA Brive, Worcester Warriors, Newcastle Falcons

Tier 3: Dragons, Zebre Parma, USAP, Aviron Bayonnais, Bath Rugby, Cheetahs

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