2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup

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2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Scotland
 Wales
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and knockout
Date15 November 2019 – 17 October 2020
Tournament statistics
Teams20
Matches played60
Attendance779,079 (12,985 per match)
Highest attendance42,041 - Leinster v Northampton Saints
14 December 2019
Lowest attendance3,114 - Bennetton v Lyon
14 December 2019
Tries scored333 (5.55 per match)
Top point scorer(s)England Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
95 points
Top try scorer(s)England Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
8 tries
Final
VenueAshton Gate, Bristol
ChampionsEngland Exeter Chiefs (1st title)
Runners-upFrance Racing 92
← 2018–19 (Previous)
(Next) 2020–21 →

The 2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup (known as the Heineken Champions Cup for sponsorship reasons)[1] was the sixth season of the European Rugby Champions Cup, the annual club rugby union competition run by European Professional Club Rugby (ECPR) for teams from the top six nations in European rugby. It was the 25th season of pan-European professional club rugby competition.

The tournament began on 15 November 2019. The knock-out stage of the tournament was rescheduled from April and May to September and October 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the final, originally scheduled for 23 May 2020 at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille in France, taking place on 17 October 2020 at Ashton Gate in Bristol.[2]

Teams[edit]

Twenty clubs from the three major European domestic and regional leagues competed in the Champions Cup. Nineteen of these qualified directly as a result of their league performance. The final place was awarded in the following order:[3]

  1. 2018–19 Champions Cup winner, if not already qualified. Saracens have qualified through their league position.
  2. 2018–19 Challenge Cup winner, if not already qualified. Clermont have qualified through their league position.
  3. 2018–19 Challenge Cup losing finalist, if not already qualified. La Rochelle have qualified through their league position.
  4. 2018–19 Challenge Cup losing semi-finalist if not already qualified, or the winner of a play-off between both losing semi-finalists if neither have already qualified. As Harlequins have qualified through their league position, Sale Sharks took this place.
  5. Highest ranked non-qualified club by virtue of league position from the same league as the 2018–19 Champions Cup winner. This step will not be needed, as a team will have qualified via one of the previous steps.

The distribution of teams is:

  • England: seven clubs
    • The top six clubs in the English Premiership
    • Sale Sharks also qualified as Challenge Cup losing semi-finalists because Saracens, Clermont, La Rochelle, and Harlequins all qualified through their league positions
  • France: six clubs
    • The top six clubs in the Top 14
  • Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales: seven clubs
    • The top three sides (not including the South African sides, which are ineligible for European competition) in both conferences in the Pro14
    • The next best-placed eligible team in each conference will compete in a one-off play-off game to determine the 7th Pro14 team.

The following teams qualified for the tournament.

Gallagher Premiership Top 14 Guinness Pro14
England England France France Ireland Ireland Italy Italy Scotland Scotland Wales Wales

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, QF for losing Quarter-finalist, and PO for the Pro14 7th place play-off winner.

Team Coach /
Director of Rugby
Captain Stadium Capacity Method of qualification
England Bath England Stuart Hooper England Matt Garvey Recreation Ground 14,509 English Premiership top 6 (6th)
Italy Benetton New Zealand Kieran Crowley Italy Dean Budd Stadio Comunale di Monigo 6,700 Pro14 Conference B (3rd) (QF)
France Clermont France Franck Azéma France Morgan Parra Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin 19,022 Top 14 top 6 (2nd) (RU)
Ireland Connacht Australia Andy Friend Australia Jarrad Butler Galway Sportsgrounds 8,129 Pro14 Conference A (3rd) (QF)
England Exeter Chiefs England Rob Baxter England Jack Yeandle Sandy Park 13,593[a] English Premiership top 6 (1st) (RU)
Scotland Glasgow Warriors New Zealand Dave Rennie Scotland Ryan Wilson
New Zealand Callum Gibbins
Scotstoun Stadium 7,351 Pro14 Conference A (1st) (RU)
England Gloucester England George Skivington[b] England Willi Heinz Kingsholm Stadium 16,115 English Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)
England Harlequins England Paul Gustard England Chris Robshaw Twickenham Stoop 14,800 English Premiership top 6 (5th)
France La Rochelle Ireland Ronan O'Gara New Zealand Victor Vito Stade Marcel-Deflandre 16,000 Top 14 top 6 (5th) (SF)
Ireland Leinster Ireland Leo Cullen Ireland Jonathan Sexton RDS Arena
Aviva Stadium
18,500
51,700
Pro14 Conference A (1st) (CH)
France Lyon France Pierre Mignoni France Baptiste Couilloud
France Félix Lambey
Matmut Stadium de Gerland 25,000 Top 14 top 6 (3rd) (SF)
France Montpellier France Xavier Garbajosa France Fulgence Ouedraogo Altrad Stadium 15,697 Top 14 top 6 (6th) (QF)
Ireland Munster South Africa Johann van Graan Ireland Peter O'Mahony Thomond Park 25,600 Pro14 Conference A (2nd) (SF)
England Northampton Saints New Zealand Chris Boyd England Teimana Harrison
England Alex Waller
Franklin's Gardens 15,200 English Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)
Wales Ospreys Ireland Allen Clarke Wales Justin Tipuric Liberty Stadium 20,827 Pro14 Conference A (4th) (PO)
France Racing 92 France Laurent Travers France Henry Chavancy Paris La Défense Arena 30,681 Top 14 top 6 (4th) (QF)
England Sale Sharks England Steve Diamond South Africa Jono Ross AJ Bell Stadium 12,000 European Challenge Cup (SF)
England Saracens Ireland Mark McCall England Brad Barritt Allianz Park 8,500 English Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)
France Toulouse France Ugo Mola France Julien Marchand Stade Ernest-Wallon 19,500 Top 14 top 6 (1st) (CH)
Ireland Ulster England Dan McFarland Ireland Iain Henderson Ravenhill Stadium 18,196 Pro14 Conference B (2nd) (SF)

Seeding[edit]

The twenty competing teams are seeded and split into four tiers, each containing five teams.

For the purpose of creating the tiers, clubs are ranked based on their domestic 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.[5]

Rank Top 14 Premiership Pro14
1 France Toulouse England Saracens Ireland Leinster
2 France Clermont England Exeter Chiefs Scotland Glasgow Warriors
3 France Lyon England Gloucester Ireland Munster
4 France La Rochelle England Northampton Saints Ireland Ulster
5 France Racing England Harlequins Ireland Connacht
6 France Montpellier England Bath Italy Benetton
7 England Sale Sharks Wales Ospreys

Based on these seedings, teams are placed into one of the four tiers, with the top-seeded clubs being put in Tier 1. The nature of the tier system means that a draw is needed to allocate two of the three second-seed clubs to Tier 1. The fourth-seed team from the same domestic league as the second-seed team which was put in Tier 2 will also be placed in Tier 2. Brackets show each team's seeding and their league. e.g. 1 Top 14 indicates the team was the top seed from the Top 14.

Tier 1 England Saracens (1 Prem) Ireland Leinster (1 Pro14) France Toulouse (1 Top 14) England Exeter Chiefs (2 Prem) France Clermont (2 Top 14)
Tier 2 Scotland Glasgow Warriors (2 Pro14) England Gloucester (3 Prem) Ireland Munster (3 Pro14) France Lyon (3 Top 14) Ireland Ulster (4 Pro14)
Tier 3 England Northampton Saints (4 Prem) France La Rochelle (4 Top 14) England Harlequins (5 Prem) Ireland Connacht (5 Pro14) France Racing (5 Top 14)
Tier 4 England Bath (6 Prem) Italy Benetton (6 Pro14) France Montpellier (6 Top 14) Wales Ospreys (7 Pro14) England Sale Sharks (CC)

The following restrictions will apply to the draw:

  • Each pool will consist of four clubs, one from each Tier in the draw.
  • Each pool must have one from each league drawn from Tier 1, 2, or 3. No pool will have a second team from the same league until the allocation of Tier 4 takes place.
  • Where two Pro14 clubs compete in the same pool, they must be from different countries.

Pool stage[edit]

[[File:|1300px|alt=Locations of teams of the 2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup group stage.
Green pog.svg Green: Pool 1; Red pog.svg Red: Pool 2; Orange pog.svg Orange: Pool 3; Yellow pog.svg Yellow: Pool 4; Blue pog.svg Blue: Pool 5.]]
Locations of teams of the 2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup group stage.
Green pog.svg Green: Pool 1; Red pog.svg Red: Pool 2; Orange pog.svg Orange: Pool 3; Yellow pog.svg Yellow: Pool 4; Blue pog.svg Blue: Pool 5.

The draw took place on 19 June 2019, in Lausanne, Switzerland.[6]

Teams in the same pool play each other twice, at home and away, in the group stage that begins on the weekend of 15–17 November 2019, and continues through to 17–19 January 2020. The five pool winners and three best runners-up progress to the quarter finals.

Teams are awarded group points based on match performances. Four points are awarded for a win, two points for a draw, one attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match and one defensive bonus point for losing a match by seven points or fewer.[7]

In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers are 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 with the best aggregate points difference from those matches.
    3. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in 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 second-place teams with the highest number of points advance to quarter-finals.

Pool 1[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Ireland Leinster (1) 6 6 0 0 199 76 123 28 9 4 0 28
England Northampton Saints (7) 6 4 0 2 166 183 –17 19 25 3 0 19
France Lyon 6 1 0 5 108 141 –33 14 16 1 2 7
Italy Benetton 6 1 0 5 96 169 –73 12 23 1 1 6

[8]

Pool 2[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
England Exeter Chiefs (2) 6 5 1 0 186 105 81 25 14 5 0 27
Scotland Glasgow Warriors 6 3 1 2 141 115 26 17 14 2 1 17
France La Rochelle 6 2 0 4 107 146 –39 14 18 1 1 10
England Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 92 160 –68 11 21 0 3 7

[9]

Pool 3[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Clermont (4) 6 5 0 1 207 114 93 24 15 3 1 24
Ireland Ulster (6) 6 5 0 1 129 107 22 16 10 1 0 21
England Harlequins 6 2 0 4 114 166 –52 13 20 0 2 10
England Bath 6 0 0 6 102 165 –63 12 20 1 4 5

[10]

Pool 4[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Racing 92 (5) 6 4 1 1 194 126 68 26 15 4 1 23
England Saracens (8) 6 4 0 2 121 88 33 13 10 1 1 18
Ireland Munster 6 3 1 2 124 97 27 13 10 2 0 16
Wales Ospreys 6 0 0 6 83 211 –128 11 28 1 1 2

[11]

Pool 5[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Toulouse (3) 6 6 0 0 162 85 77 19 9 3 0 27
England Gloucester 6 2 0 4 140 140 0 19 14 3 3 14
France Montpellier 6 2 0 4 118 157 –39 12 20 1 1 10
Ireland Connacht 6 2 0 4 120 158 –38 15 22 1 1 10

[12]

Ranking of pool leaders and runners-up[edit]

Rank Pool leaders Pts Diff TF
1 Ireland Leinster 28 123 28
2 England Exeter Chiefs 27 81 25
3 France Toulouse 27 77 19
4 France Clermont 24 93 24
5 France Racing 92 23 68 26
Rank Pool runners–up Pts Diff TF
6 Ireland Ulster 21 22 16
7 England Northampton Saints 19 –17 19
8 England Saracens 18 33 13
9 Scotland Glasgow Warriors 17 26 17
10 Ireland Munster 16 27 13

Knock-out stage[edit]

Bracket[edit]

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
         
4 France Clermont 27
5 France Racing 92 36
5 France Racing 92 19
8 England Saracens 15
1 Ireland Leinster 17
8 England Saracens 25
5 France Racing 92 27
2 England Exeter Chiefs 31
2 England Exeter Chiefs 38
7 England Northampton Saints 15
2 England Exeter Chiefs 28
3 France Toulouse 18
3 France Toulouse 36
6 Ireland Ulster 8

Quarter-finals[edit]

19 September 2020
15:00
Leinster Ireland (1) 17–25 (8) England Saracens
Try: Porter 48' c
Larmour 61' c
Con: Sexton (2/2) 49', 63'
Pen: Sexton (1/1) 5'
Report Try: Goode 36' c
Con: Goode (1/1) 38'
Pen: Goode (3/4) 2', 8', 10', 79'
Daly (2/4) 24', 27'
19 September 2020
18:45
Clermont France (4) 27–36 (5) France Racing 92
Try: Falgoux 22' m
Fofana 60' c
Matsushima 70' c
Penaud 77' m
Con: Lopez (2/4) 61', 70'
Pen: Lopez (1/1) 31'
Report Try: Dupichot 3' m
Trinh-Duc 39' c
Con: Iribaren (1/2) 40'
Pen: Iribaren (6/6) 8', 12', 29', 35', 54', 58'
Machenaud (2/2) 64', 74'
20 September 2020
13:30
Toulouse France (3) 36–8 (6) Ireland Ulster
Try: Kolbe (2) 2' m, 39' c
Dupont 50' c
Ramos 66' c
Ahki 61' c
Con: Ramos (4/5) 40'+1, 52', 63', 69'
Pen: Ramos (1/2) 14'
Report Try: Cooney 72' m
Pen: Cooney (1/1) 26'
20 September 2020
17:30
Exeter Chiefs England (2) 38–15 (7) England Northampton Saints
Try: Maunder 17' c
Vermeulen (2) 25' c, 77' c
Nowell 42' c
J. Hill 54' c
Con: J. Simmonds (4/4) 17', 26', 43', 55'
Steenson (1/1) 79'
Pen: J. Simmonds (1/1) 61'
Report Try: Harrison 37' c
Dingwall 57' m
Con: Biggar (1/2) 38'
Pen: Biggar (1/1) 7'

Semi-finals[edit]

26 September 2020
14:00
Racing 92 France (5) 19–15 (8) England Saracens
Try: Imhoff 76' c
Con: Machenaud (1/1) 77'
Pen: Iribaren (3/4) 11', 32', 40'+1
Machenaud (1/1) 68'
Report Pen: Goode (5/5) 24', 30', 43', 47', 53'
Paris La Défense Arena
Attendance: 1,000
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
26 September 2020
15:30
Exeter Chiefs England (2) 28–18 (3) France Toulouse
Try: Williams (2) 31' c, 60' c
S. Simmonds 40' c
J. Simmonds 70' c
Con: J. Simmonds (4/4) 32', 40'+1, 61', 71'
Report Try: Placines 36' m
Lebel 76' c
Con: Ramos (1/2) 76'
Pen: Ramos (2/3) 5', 14'
Sandy Park
Attendance: 0
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)

Final[edit]

17 October 2020
16:45
Exeter Chiefs England (2) 31–27 (5) France Racing 92
Try: Cowan-Dickie 8' c
S. Simmonds 16' c
Williams 40'+1 c
Slade 45' c
Con: J. Simmonds (4/4) 9', 17', 40'+1, 46'
Pen: J. Simmonds (1/1) 80'+1
Report Try: Zebo (2) 20' m, 43', m
Imhoff 32' c
Chat 50' c
Con: Russell (1/2) 32'
Machenaud (1/2) 51'
Pen: Machenaud (1/1) 65'

Player scoring[edit]

  • Appearance figures also include coming on as substitutes (unused substitutes not included).

Season records[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sandy Park's capacity increased from 12,921 to 13,593 from December 2019 onward.[4]
  2. ^ Skivington replaced Johan Ackermann as head coach in July 2020. Simultaneously, DoR David Humphreys also left the club.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Heineken® Returns as Headline Sponsor of European Rugby Champions Cup". Heineken. 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Marseille finals moved to 2021 with new venues for this season to be decided". European Professional Club Rugby. 2020-07-09. Retrieved 2020-07-10.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2019-04-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Premiership champions confirm stadium expansion". Ruck. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  5. ^ http://archive.ercrugby.com/news/28791.php Archived 2014-10-31 at the Wayback Machine ERCRugby.com. Accessed 8 June 2014
  6. ^ "Saracens drawn in highly-competitive Heineken Champions Cup pool". EPCR. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Champions Cup Rules". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  8. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  10. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Player Statistics". EPCR. 19 January 2020.
  14. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most points in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  15. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most tries in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  16. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most conversions in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  17. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most penalties in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  18. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most drop goals in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  19. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most points in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  20. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most tries in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  21. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most conversions in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  22. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most penalties in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  23. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most drop goals in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.
  24. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Home attendance". Rugby Statbunker. 19 January 2020.