2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup

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2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup
Tournament details
Countries  England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Scotland
 Wales
Tournament format(s) Round-robin and Knockout
Date 17 October 2014 – 2 May 2015
Tournament statistics
Teams 20
Matches played 64
Attendance 852,479 (13,320 per match)
Tries scored 280 (4.38 per match)
Top point scorer(s) Ian Madigan (Leinster)
(98 points)
Top try scorer(s) George North (Northampton Saints)
(7 tries)
Final
Venue Twickenham Stadium, London
Official website http://www.epcrugby.com
2013–14 (Previous) (Next) 2015–16

The 2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup is the first season of the European Rugby Champions Cup, the annual rugby union club competition for teams from the top six nations in European rugby, and the 20th season of professional European rugby union in total. It replaced the Heineken Cup as Europe's top-tier competition for rugby clubs.[1] The competition got underway on the weekend of 17 October 2014 with the first round of the pool stage, and will end with the final on 2 May 2015 at Twickenham Stadium, London, England.[2][3]

Teams[edit]

20 clubs, from the three major European domestic leagues, will compete in the Champions Cup:[1]

  • England: 7 clubs
  • France: 6 clubs, based on performance in the Top 14.
  • Ireland, Italy, Scotland & Wales: 7 clubs, based on performance in the Pro12.
    • The best placed club from each nation (4 clubs)
    • The 3 highest ranked clubs not qualified thereafter (3 clubs)

The following clubs qualified for the competition:

Aviva Premiership Top 14 Pro 12
England England France France Ireland Ireland Italy Italy Scotland Scotland Wales Wales

20th Team play-off[edit]

The following teams took part in the play-off for the final place in the Champions Cup, having finished 7th in their respective leagues.

Aviva Premiership Top 14
England England France France
Wasps Stade Français

On 29 April 2014, it was announced that this play-off would take place over two legs, on the weekends of 17/18 May and 24/25 May, with a draw being used to determine home advantage for each leg.[4]

The draw took place on 6 May 2014, in Heathrow. Following the draw, the fixtures were announced as follows:[5]

18 May 2014
15:00 BST
Wasps England 30–29 France Stade Français
24 May 2014
14:45 CEST
Stade Français France 6–20 England Wasps

Wasps won the play-off 50–35 on aggregate and qualified for the Champions Cup.

Team details[edit]

Below is the list of coaches, captain and stadiums with their method of qualification for each team.

Note: Placing shown in brackets, denotes standing at the end of the regular season for their respective leagues, with their end of season positioning shown through CH for Champions, RU for Runner-up, SF for losing Semi-finalist and QF for losing Quarter-finalist.

Team Coach /
Director of Rugby
Captain Stadium Capacity Method of Qualification
England Bath England Mike Ford England Stuart Hooper Recreation Ground 14,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (5th)
Italy Benetton Treviso Italy Umberto Casellato Italy Antonio Pavanello Stadio Comunale di Monigo 6,700 Top Pro12 Italian team (11th)
France Castres Olympique France Serge Milhas France Rémi Talès Stade Pierre-Antoine 11,500 Top 14 top 6 (6th) (RU)
France Clermont France Franck Azéma France Damien Chouly Stade Marcel-Michelin 18,000 Top 14 top 6 (3rd) (QF)
Scotland Glasgow Warriors Scotland Gregor Townsend Scotland Alastair Kellock Scotstoun Stadium 9,708 Top Pro12 Scottish team (2nd) (RU)
England Harlequins Ireland Conor O'Shea England Joe Marler The Stoop 14,816 Aviva Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)
England Leicester Tigers England Richard Cockerill England Ed Slater Welford Road 24,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (3rd) (SF)
Ireland Leinster Australia Matt O'Connor Ireland Jamie Heaslip RDS Arena
Aviva Stadium
18,500
51,700
Top Pro12 Irish team (1st) (CH)
France Montpellier South Africa Jake White
(For France Fabien Galthié)[a]
France Fulgence Ouedraogo Altrad Stadium 14,700 Top 14 top 6 (2nd) (SF)
Ireland Munster Ireland Anthony Foley Ireland Peter O'Mahony Thomond Park 25,600 Pro12 top 7 (3rd) (SF)
England Northampton Saints England Jim Mallinder England Dylan Hartley Franklin's Gardens 13,600 Aviva Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)
Wales Ospreys Wales Steve Tandy Wales Alun Wyn Jones Liberty Stadium 20,532 Top Pro12 Welsh Team (5th)
France Racing Métro France Laurent Labit France Dimitri Szarzewski Stade Yves-du-Manoir 14,000 Top 14 top 6 (5th) (SF)
England Sale Sharks Scotland Bryan Redpath New Zealand Daniel Braid AJ Bell Stadium 12,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (6th)
England Saracens Ireland Mark McCall South Africa Alistair Hargreaves Allianz Park 10,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (1st) (RU)
Wales Scarlets New Zealand Wayne Pivac Wales Ken Owens Parc y Scarlets 14,870 Pro12 top 7 (6th)
France Toulon France Bernard Laporte New Zealand Carl Hayman Stade Mayol 15,400 Top 14 top 6 (1st) (CH)
France Toulouse France Guy Novès France Thierry Dusautoir Stade Ernest-Wallon 19,500 Top 14 top 6 (4th) (SF)
Ireland Ulster Ireland Neil Doak Ireland Rory Best Kingspan Stadium 18,196 Pro12 top 7 (4th) (SF)
England Wasps Wales Dai Young England James Haskell Adams Park
Ricoh Arena[a 1]
10,516
32,609
7th Place play-off winner
  1. ^ On 8 October 2014, Wasps announced that they would move their home ground to Ricoh Arena in Coventry.[7] The club later confirmed that their first match in Coventry would be on 21 December.[8]

Seeding[edit]

The 20 competing teams were seeded and split into four tiers; seeding was based on performance in their respective domestic leagues.

For the purpose of creating the tiers, Aviva Premiership clubs were ranked only according to their finishing positions in the League table, and not based on performance in the knockout phase of the season, while Top 14 and Pro12 clubs were ranked based on their League performances and on their qualification for the knockout phases of their championships, so a losing quarter-finalist in the Top 14 would be seeded below a losing semi-finalist, even if they finished above them in the regular season.[9]

Rank Top 14 Premiership Pro 12
1 France Toulon England Saracens Ireland Leinster Rugby
2 France Castres Olympique England Northampton Saints Scotland Glasgow Warriors
3 France Montpellier England Leicester Tigers Ireland Munster
4 France Racing Métro England Harlequins Ireland Ulster
5 France Clermont England Bath Wales Ospreys
6 France Toulouse England Sale Sharks Wales Scarlets
7 England Wasps Italy Benetton Treviso

Teams were taken from a league and put into a tier; a draw was used to allocate two second seeds to Tier 1, the remaining team went into Tier 2. This allocation then determined which fourth seeded team entered Tier 2, while the others entered Tier 3.

As with the previous European competition, the Heineken Cup, teams from the same country were kept apart where possible. However, as 7 teams qualified from England, 2 pools would by necessity contain two English teams and as 6 French teams qualified, there would be one pool with two French teams. Sale Sharks and Wasps would be drawn into pools which contained one other Aviva Premiership club, and Toulouse would be drawn into a pool which contained one other Top 14 club.

The brackets show each team's seeding and their league (for example, 1 Top 14 indicates the team was seeded 1st from the Top 14).

Tier 1 Ireland Leinster (1 Pro12) England Saracens (1 AP) France Toulon (1 Top 14) England Northampton Saints (2 AP) Scotland Glasgow Warriors (2 Pro12)
Tier 2 France Castres Olympique (2 Top 14) Ireland Munster (3 Pro12) England Leicester Tigers (3 AP) France Montpellier (3 Top 14) France Racing Métro (4 Top14)
Tier 3 England Harlequins (4 AP) Ireland Ulster (4 Pro12) Wales Ospreys (5 Pro12) England Bath (5 AP) France Clermont (5 Top 14)
Tier 4 Wales Scarlets (6 Pro12) England Sale Sharks (6 AP) France Toulouse (6 Top 14) England Wasps (7 Play-off) Italy Benetton Treviso (7 Pro12)

Pool stage[edit]

The draw took place on 10 June 2014, at the Stade de la Maladière in Neuchâtel.[10][11]

Fixtures were announced on Thursday 14 August 2014 at 2pm.

Teams played each other twice, both at home and away, in the group stage, that began on the weekend of 17/18/19 October 2014, and continued through to 23/24/25 January 2015, before the pool winners and three best runners-up progressed to the quarter finals.[12][2]

Teams were awarded competition points, based on match result. Teams receive 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 1 attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match and 1 defensive bonus point for losing a match by seven points or fewer.[13]

In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers were used, as directed by EPCR:

  1. Where teams have played each other
    1. The club with the greater number of competition points from only matches involving tied teams.
    2. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in those matches.
    3. If equal, the club with the best aggregate points difference from those matches.
  2. Where teams remain tied and/or have not played each other in the competition (i.e. are from different pools)
    1. The club with the best aggregate points difference from the pool stage.
    2. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in the pool stage.
    3. If equal, the club with the fewest players suspended in the pool stage.
    4. If equal, the drawing of lots will determine a club's ranking.
Key to colours
     Winner of each pool, advance to quarter-finals.
     Three highest-scoring second-place teams advance to quarter-finals.

Pool 1[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Clermont (3) 6 5 0 1 140 80 +60 14 6 1 1 22
England Saracens (8) 6 4 0 2 119 95 +24 12 10 1 0 17
Ireland Munster 6 3 0 3 144 114 +30 15 11 1 2 15
England Sale Sharks 6 0 0 6 82 196 −114 8 22 0 2 2

Pool 2[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Ireland Leinster (4) 6 4 1 1 148 101 +47 13 9 1 1 20
England Wasps (7) 6 3 1 2 155 105 +50 18 12 2 2 18
England Harlequins 6 4 0 2 135 99 +36 13 7 1 1 18
France Castres Olympique 6 0 0 6 86 219 −133 10 26 0 1 1

Pool 3[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Toulon (2) 6 5 0 1 181 89 +92 19 9 1 1 22
England Leicester Tigers 6 3 0 3 108 126 −18 12 15 1 0 13
Ireland Ulster 6 2 0 4 116 146 −30 16 15 3 1 12
Wales Scarlets 6 2 0 4 90 134 −44 8 16 0 0 8

Pool 4[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
England Bath (5) 6 4 0 2 146 108 +38 15 15 2 1 19
France Toulouse 6 4 0 2 126 124 +2 11 10 0 1 17
Scotland Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 108 84 +24 11 6 1 2 15
France Montpellier 6 1 0 5 90 154 −64 9 15 0 2 6

Pool 5[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Racing Métro (1) 6 5 1 0 168 69 +99 20 7 2 0 24
England Northampton Saints (6) 6 4 0 2 178 82 +96 25 8 3 0 19
Wales Ospreys 6 1 1 4 110 121 −11 11 13 1 2 8
Italy Benetton Treviso 6 1 0 5 62 246 −184 8 36 0 0 4

Seeding and runners-up[edit]

Seed Pool Winners Pts TF +/−
1 France Racing Métro 24 20 +99
2 France Toulon 22 19 +92
3 France Clermont 22 14 +60
4 Ireland Leinster 20 13 +47
5 England Bath 19 15 +38
Seed Pool Runners–up Pts TF +/−
6 England Northampton Saints 19 25 +96
7 England Wasps 18 18 +50
8 England Saracens 17 12 +24
9 France Toulouse 17 11 +2
10 England Leicester 13 15 -18

Knock-out stage[edit]

The eight qualifiers were seeded according to performance in the pool stage, and will compete in the quarter-finals, which will be held on the 3/4/5 April 2015. The four top seeds will host the quarter-finals against the lower seeds, in a 1v8, 2v7, 3v6 and 4v5 format.

The semi-finals, to be contested by the quarter-final winners, will take place on the weekend of 18/19 April 2015.

The winners of the semi-finals will contest the final, at Twickenham Stadium, on 2 May 2015.[3]

Quarter-finals[edit]

4 April 2015
15:15
Leinster Ireland 18–15 England Bath
Pen: Madigan (6/6) 13', 24', 27', 34', 38', 52'
Report Try: Ford 20' m
Hooper 46' c
Con: Ford (1/2) 47'
Pen: Ford (1/2) 73'
Aviva Stadium
Attendance: 43,958
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (FFR)
4 April 2015
18:45
Clermont France 37–5 England Northampton Saints
Try: Nakaitaci (2) 12' c, 30' c
Fofana 37' c
Abendanon 54' c
Con: James (4/4) 13', 32', 38', 55'
Pen: James (3/3) 4', 25', 46'
Report Try: Waller 66' m
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin
Attendance: 17,730
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
5 April 2015
13:45
Racing Métro France 11–12 England Saracens
Try: Machenaud 26' m
Pen: Machenaud (2/2) 60', 70'
Report Pen: Hodgson (2/4) 5', 40'
Goode (1/1) 47'
Bosch (1/1) 80+1'
Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Attendance: 12,113
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
5 April 2015
16:15
Toulon France 32–18 England Wasps
Try: Bastareaud 7' c
Williams 76' c
Con: Michalak (2/2) 7', 77'
Pen: Michalak (6/6) 16', 22', 27', 35', 38', 68'
Report Try: Helu (2) 53' c, 72' m
Con: Goode (1/2) 54'
Pen: Lozowski (2/2) 12', 25'
Stade Mayol
Attendance: 15,228
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)

Semi-finals[edit]

19 April 2015
16:15
Toulon France v Ireland Leinster

Final[edit]

2 May 2015
17:00 BST
Winner Semi-final 1 v Winner Semi-final 2

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fabien Galthié began the tournament as Montpellier head coach, but was removed from his post on 30 December 2014, and replaced by Jake White.[6]

References[edit]