Leinster hoping for a Toulouse Top 14 win to boost Champions Cup seeding

Leo Cullen’s side would bag a top seeding if the French giants can complete the double

Toulouse captain Antoine Dupont raises the Champions Cup after their victory over Leinster in the Investec Champions Cup final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Leinster will be hoping that Toulouse add the French Top 14 title to the Champions Cup because in those circumstances Leo Cullen’s side will be one of the four top seeds for next year’s tournament, the draw for which takes place on July 2nd.

Toulouse face Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle at Bordeaux’s Matmut Atlantique stadium in Friday night’s first Top 14 semi-final, with Bordeaux-Bègles taking on Stade Francais at the same venue in Saturday’s second semi-final. The final takes place in Marseille on Friday, June 28th.

The Champions Cup retains the same format as last year, consists of four pools of six clubs, with two each from the URC, Top 14 and Gallagher Premiership in every pool. Leinster, Munster, and Ulster cannot be drawn in the same pool and the same rule applies to the South African sides the Bulls, Stormers, and Sharks.

There will be no matches between clubs from the same league, so in order to create the pool stage fixtures, each club will play four matches against four different clubs who are not from the same league either home or away.


Tier one will consist of Toulouse (2024 Champions Cup winners), Northampton Saints (2024 Premiership winners), as well as the 2024 URC and Top 14 winners. If Toulouse win the French title, then Leinster will be included in Tier 1.

Connacht, in the European Challenge Cup, cannot be drawn in a pool with the two English clubs, Gloucester and Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Munster’s Graham Rowntree has been voted as coach of the year in the annual URC awards. He led the province to the title last season and in this campaign Munster finished top of the table after the league standings before losing a semi-final to the Glasgow Warriors.

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer