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 – 23 May 2020
Tournament statistics
Teams20
Matches played10
Attendance127,482 (12,748 per match)
Highest Attendance20,275 - Racing 92 v Saracens
17 November 2019
Lowest Attendance6,229 - Connacht v Montpellier
17 November 2019
Tries scored50 (5 per match)
Top point scorer(s)Wales Dan Biggar (Northampton)
20 points
Top try scorer(s)Ireland Garry Ringrose (Leinster)
3 tries
Final
VenueStade de Marseille, Marseille
← 2018–19 (Previous)
(Next) 2020–21 →

The 2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup (known as the Heineken Champions Cup for sponsorship reasons)[1] is 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 will be the 25th season of pan-European professional club rugby competition.

The tournament will begin on 15 November 2019. The final will take place on 23 May 2020 at Stade de Marseille in Marseille, France.

Teams[edit]

Twenty clubs from the three major European domestic and regional leagues compete in the Champions Cup. Nineteen of these qualify directly as a result of their league performance. The final place is awarded in the following order:[2]

  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.

To date, the following teams have 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 14,500 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 Damien Chouly 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 12,921 English Premiership top 6 (4th) (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 Ireland David Humphreys 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 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 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 New Zealand Teimana Harrison
England Alex Waller
Franklin's Gardens 15,249 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 Labit
France Laurent Travers
France Dimitri Szarzewski 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 Stadium 8,500 English Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)
France Toulouse France Ugo Mola
France Régis Sonnes
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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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 1 0 0 33 19 +14 5 3 1 0 5
England Northampton Saints 1 1 0 0 25 14 +11 1 2 0 0 4
France Lyon 1 0 0 1 14 25 –11 2 1 0 0 0
Italy Benetton 1 0 0 1 19 33 –14 3 5 0 0 0

[6]

Pool 2[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
England Exeter Chiefs 1 1 0 0 31 12 +19 4 2 1 0 5
Scotland Glasgow Warriors 1 1 0 0 13 7 +6 1 1 0 0 4
England Sale Sharks 1 0 0 1 7 13 –6 1 1 0 1 1
France La Rochelle 1 0 0 1 12 31 –19 2 4 0 0 0

[7]

Pool 3[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Clermont 1 1 0 0 53 21 +32 7 3 1 0 5
Ireland Ulster 1 1 0 0 17 16 +1 2 1 0 0 4
England Bath 1 0 0 1 16 17 –1 1 2 0 1 1
England Harlequins 1 0 0 1 21 53 –32 3 7 0 0 0

[8]

Pool 4[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Racing 92 1 1 0 0 30 10 +20 4 1 1 0 5
Ireland Munster 1 1 0 0 32 13 +19 4 1 1 0 5
Wales Ospreys 1 0 0 1 13 32 –19 1 4 0 0 0
England Saracens 1 0 0 1 10 30 –20 1 4 0 0 0

[9]

Pool 5[edit]

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Toulouse 1 1 0 0 25 20 +5 1 2 0 0 4
Ireland Connacht 1 1 0 0 23 20 +3 3 2 0 0 4
France Montpellier 1 0 0 1 20 23 –3 2 2 0 1 1
England Gloucester 1 0 0 1 20 25 –5 2 1 0 1 1

[10]

Ranking of pool leaders and runners-up[edit]

Rank Pool leaders Pts Diff TF
1 France Clermont 5 +32 7
2 France Racing 92 5 +20 4
3 England Exeter Chiefs 5 +19 4
4 Ireland Leinster 5 +14 5
5 France Toulouse 4 +5 1
Rank Pool runners–up Pts Diff TF
6 Ireland Munster 5 +19 4
7 England Northampton Saints 4 +11 1
8 Scotland Glasgow Warriors 4 +6 1
9 Ireland Connacht 4 +3 3
10 Ireland Ulster 4 +1 2

Attendances[edit]

  • Does not include the attendance at the final as it takes place at a neutral venue.
Club Home
Games
Total Average Highest Lowest % Capacity
England Bath 1 13,289 13,289 13,289 13,289 92%
Italy Benetton 0 0 0 0 0 0%
France Clermont 1 17,701 17,701 17,701 17,701 93%
Ireland Connacht 1 6,229 6,229 6,229 6,229 77%
England Exeter Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Scotland Glasgow Warriors 1 7,351 7,351 7,351 7,351 100%
England Gloucester 1 11,659 11,659 11,659 11,659 72%
England Harlequins 0 0 0 0 0 0%
France La Rochelle 1 16,000 16,000 16,000 16,000 100%
Ireland Leinster 1 15,080 15,080 15,080 15,080 82%
France Lyon 0 0 0 0 0 0%
France Montpellier 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Ireland Munster 0 0 0 0 0 0%
England Northampton Saints 1 12,603 12,603 12,603 12,603 83%
Wales Ospreys 1 7,295 7,295 7,295 7,295 35%
France Racing 92 1 20,275 20,275 20,275 20,275 66%
England Sale Sharks 0 0 0 0 0 0%
England Saracens 0 0 0 0 0 0%
France Toulouse 0 0 0 0 0 0%
Ireland Ulster 0 0 0 0 0 0%

[11]

Player scoring[edit]

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

Season records[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Heineken® Returns as Headline Sponsor of European Rugby Champions Cup". Heineken. 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2019-04-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ http://archive.ercrugby.com/news/28791.php Archived 2014-10-31 at the Wayback Machine ERCRugby.com. Accessed 8 June 2014
  4. ^ "Saracens drawn in highly-competitive Heineken Champions Cup pool". EPCR. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Champions Cup Rules". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  6. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  10. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Home attendance". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  12. ^ a b "Player Statistics". EPCR. 17 November 2019.
  13. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most points in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  14. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most tries in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  15. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most conversions in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  16. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most penalties in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  17. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most drop goals in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  18. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most points in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  19. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most tries in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  20. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most conversions in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  21. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most penalties in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.
  22. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 19/20 Most drop goals in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 17 November 2019.