Heineken Champions Cup 2019-20: Leinster start against Benetton

Munster and Ulster face opening away trips as Connacht welcome Montpellier to Galway

Maro Itoje celebrates Saracens’ 2019 Heineken Cup final victory over Leinster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Maro Itoje celebrates Saracens’ 2019 Heineken Cup final victory over Leinster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

 

Last year’s beaten finalists Leinster will begin their 2019-20 Heineken Champions Cup campaign away to Italian side Benetton on Saturday November 16th.

Three of the provinces are in action on the same day, with Ulster travelling to play Bath (kick-off 1pm) and Munster travelling to play the Ospreys (kick-off 5.30pm) on the tournament’s opening weekend.

Connacht’s campaign gets underway a day later, with Andy Friend’s side welcoming Montpellier to Galway in their opening fixture (kick-off 1pm).

Champions Saracens, who beat Leinster 20-10 at Newcastle’s St James’ Park to secure their third European title, begin their defence with a mouth-watering clash away to Racing 92 - also on Sunday November 17th.

BT Sport have retained broadcasting rights for the 2019-20 competition, but like last year one key fixture per round will be shown live on free-to-air television by Channel 4 and Virgin Media.

Ulster’s opening trip to play Bath at The Rec is the free-to-air fixture on the opening weekend. Leinster’s crunch round three trip to play Northampton Saints on Saturday December 7th (1pm), and the return fixture in Dublin on Saturday December 14th (5.15pm), will also be shown by Channel 4/Virgin.

After opening against Benetton - who also happen to be their first round opponents in the Pro14 - Leinster then travel to play Lyon in round two. A Northampton double-header awaits before Leo Cullen’s side welcome Lyon to Dublin on the penultimate weekend and then finish Pool 1 with a trip to Italy.

Munster meanwhile start with a trip to Swansea followed by the visit of Racing 92. A daunting double-header with Saracens - who beat Rassie Erasmus’s side in last year’s semis - follows before the pool is completed with a trip to Paris and then the visit of the Ospreys.

After their opening fixture against Bath, Ulster welcome Clermont Auvergne to Ravenhill on Friday November 22nd, before playing Harlequins home and away. Their penultimate fixure is a trip to play Clermont before Harlequins visit on the final weekend.

Connacht return to Europe’s top table after a two-year absence, and the visit of Montpellier is followed by a trip to play four-time winners Toulouse. They then meet familiar foes Gloucester home and away before Toulouse visit the Sportground - scene of their famous 16-14 defeat in 2013. Their final Pool 5 fixture is a trip to Montpellier.

The EPCR have also confirmed that all players who are UK citizens will be regarded as European players for the duration of the tournament, with Brexit looming.

Heineken Cup 2019-20 fixtures

Round one

Friday November 15th

Pool 5, Gloucester v Toulouse, Kingsholm, 7.45pm (BT Sport)*

Saturday November 16th

Pool 3, Bath v Ulster, The Rec, 1pm (Channel 4/Virgin/BT)
Pool 2, Glasgow Warriors v Sale Sharks, Scotstoun, 1pm
Pool 1, Leinster v Benetton, The RDS, 3.15pm
Pool 2, La Rochelle v Exeter Chiefs, Stade Marcel Deflandre, 3.15pm**
Pool 4, Ospreys v Munster, Liberty Stadium, 5.30pm
Pool3, Clermont Auvergne v Harlequins, Stade Marcel-Michelin, 5.30pm

Sunday November 17th

Pool 1, Northampton Saints v Lyon, Franklin’s Gardens, 1pm
Pool 5, Connacht v Montpellier, The Sportsground, 1pm
Pool 4, Racing 92 v Saracens, Paris La Defense Arena, 3.15pm

Round two

Friday November 22nd

Ulster v Clermont Auvergne, Ravenhill, 7.45pm

Saturday November 23rd

Saracens v Ospreys, Allianz Park, 1pm (C4/Virgin/BT Sport)
Benetton v Northampton, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, 1pm
Toulouse v Connacht, Stade Ernest Wallon, 1pm
Exeter v Glasgow, Sandy Park, 3.15pm
Lyon v Leinster, Stade de Gerland, 3.15pm
Munster v Racing 92, Thomond Park, 5.30pm
Harlequins v Bath, Twickenham Stoop, 5.30pm

Sunday November 24th

Sale Sharks v La Rochelle, AJ Bell Stadium, 1pm
Montpellier v Gloucester, GGL Stadium, 3.15pm

Round three

Friday December 6th

Bath v Clermont, The Rec, 7.45pm

Saturday December 7th

Northampton v Leinster, Franklin’s Gardens, 1pm (C4/Virgin/BT)
Lyon v Benetton, Stade de Gerland, 1pm
Ulster v Harlequins, Ravenhill, 3.15pm
La Rochelle v Glasgow, Stade Marcel Deflandre, 3.15pm
Ospreys v Racing 92, Liberty Stadium, 5.30pm
Munster v Saracens, Thomond Park, 5.30pm

Sunday December 8th

Gloucester v Connacht, Kingsholm, 1pm
Sale Sharks v Exeter, AJ Bell Stadium, 3.15pm
Toulouse v Montpellier, Stade Ernest Wallon, 3.15pm

Round four

Friday December 13th

Racing 92 v Ospreys, Paris La Defense Arena, 7.45pm
Harlequins v Ulster, Twickenham Stoop, 7.45pm

Saturday December 14th

Connacht v Gloucester, The Sportsground, 12.45pm
Benetton v Lyon, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, 12.45pm
Montpellier v Toulouse, GGl Stadium, 3pm
Saracens v Munster, Allianz Park, 3pm
Leinster v Northampton, Dublin, 5.15pm (C4/Virgin/BT)
Glasgow v La Rochelle, Scotstoun, 5.15pm

Sunday December 15th

Exeter v Sale Sharks, Sandy Park, 1pm
Clermont v Bath, Stade Marcel-Michelin, 3.15pm

Round five

January 10th/11th/12th 2020
Racing 92 v Munster, Paris La Defense Arena, TBC
Clermont v Ulster, Stade Marcel-Michelin, TBC

Friday January 10th

La Rochelle v Sale Sharks, Stade Marcel Deflandre, 7.45pm
Bath v Harlequins, The Rec, 7.45pm

Saturday January 11th

Ospreys v Saracens, Liberty Stadium, 1pm (C4/Virgin/BT Sport)
Glasgow v Exeter, Scotstoun, 3.15pm
Connacht v Toulouse, Sportsground, 3.15pm
Gloucester v Montpellier, Kingsholm, 5.30pm

Sunday January 12th

Northampton v Benetton, Franklin’s Gardens, 1pm
Leinster v Lyon, The RDS, 1pm

Round 6

Saturday January 18th 2020

Lyon v Northampton, Stade de Gerland, 1pm
Benetton v Leinster, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, 1pm
Ulster v Bath, Ravenhill, 3.15pm
Harlequins v Clermont, Twickenham Stoop, 3.15pm
Sale Sharks v Glasgow, AJ Bell Stadium, 5.30pm
Exeter v La Rochelle, Sandy Park, 5.30pm

Sunday January 19th

Munster v Ospreys, Thomond Park, 1pm
Saracens v Racing 92, Allianz Park, 1pm
Toulouse v Gloucester, Stade Ernest Wallon, 3.15pm
Montpellier v Connacht, GGL Stadium, 3.15pm

*All fixtures will be shown live on BT Sport
** All kick-off times in Irish time

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