2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup
|2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Tournament format(s)||Round-robin and Knockout|
|Date||17 October 2014 – 2 May 2015|
|Attendance||852,479 (13,320 per match)|
|Tries scored||280 (4.38 per match)|
|Top point scorer(s)||Ian Madigan (Leinster)
|Top try scorer(s)||George North (Northampton Saints)
|Venue||Twickenham Stadium, London|
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. 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.
20 clubs, from the three major European domestic leagues, will compete in the Champions Cup:
- 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|
20th Team play-off
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|
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.
The draw took place on 6 May 2014, in Heathrow. Following the draw, the fixtures were announced as follows:
Wasps won the play-off 50–35 on aggregate and qualified for the Champions Cup.
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.
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.
|Rank||Top 14||Premiership||Pro 12|
|2||Castres Olympique||Northampton Saints||Glasgow Warriors|
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||Leinster (1 Pro12)||Saracens (1 AP)||Toulon (1 Top 14)||Northampton Saints (2 AP)||Glasgow Warriors (2 Pro12)|
|Tier 2||Castres Olympique (2 Top 14)||Munster (3 Pro12)||Leicester Tigers (3 AP)||Montpellier (3 Top 14)||Racing Métro (4 Top14)|
|Tier 3||Harlequins (4 AP)||Ulster (4 Pro12)||Ospreys (5 Pro12)||Bath (5 AP)||Clermont (5 Top 14)|
|Tier 4||Scarlets (6 Pro12)||Sale Sharks (6 AP)||Toulouse (6 Top 14)||Wasps (7 Play-off)||Benetton Treviso (7 Pro12)|
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.
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.
In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers were used, as directed by EPCR:
- Where teams have played each other
- The club with the greater number of competition points from only matches involving tied teams.
- If equal, the club that scored the most tries in those matches.
- If equal, the club with the best aggregate points difference from those matches.
- Where teams remain tied and/or have not played each other in the competition (i.e. are from different pools)
- The club with the best aggregate points difference from the pool stage.
- If equal, the club that scored the most tries in the pool stage.
- If equal, the club with the fewest players suspended in the pool stage.
- If equal, the drawing of lots will determine a club's ranking.
|Winner of each pool, advance to quarter-finals.|
|Three highest-scoring second-place teams advance to quarter-finals.|
|Racing Métro (1)||6||5||1||0||168||69||+99||20||7||2||0||24|
|Northampton Saints (6)||6||4||0||2||178||82||+96||25||8||3||0||19|
Seeding and runners-up
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.
4 April 2015
|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'
4 April 2015
|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
5 April 2015
|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'
5 April 2015
|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'
18 April 2015
- Fabien Galthié began the tournament as Montpellier head coach, but was removed from his post on 30 December 2014, and replaced by Jake White.
- "Future of European Rugby resolved" (Press release). Rugby Football Union. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
- EPCRugby.com – 10 things you may not know about EPCR
- Inaugural EPCR finals set for London
- Rugby Union – Anglo-French play-off dates announced, AFP 29/5/2014
- European Rugby Champions Cup play-off draw, Premiership Rugby
- "Montpellier unveil White as new boss" [Montpellier unveil White as new boss]. Planet Rugby (in English) (Planet Rugby). 30 December 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Wasps in Coventry: Ricoh move to be completed by December". BBC Sport. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "Wasps confirm opening Ricoh Arena fixture". BBC Sport. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- http://archive.ercrugby.com/news/28791.php ERCRugby.com. Accessed 8 June 2014
- Irish Times – Rugby’s European Champions Cup draw to place on June 10th. Accessed 31/5/14
- "Munster and Ulster handed daunting pools in first-ever Rugby Champions Cup". The Score. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- EPCRugby.com – 2014/15 EPCR Pool Draws
- EPCR Competition Rules