Pool fixtures for new-look 2020-21 Champions Cup announced

The four provinces will play four pool games each under tournament’s new format

Exeter Chiefs are the defending European champions. Photograph: Inpho

Exeter Chiefs are the defending European champions. Photograph: Inpho

 

The fixtures for the pool stages of the 2020-21 Champions Cup have been announced, with the road to Marseille starting in mid-December.

The tournament’s new format has seen the number of teams competing extended to 24, with these sides then split into two groups of 12.

Within each group each side will play two other teams home and away - four fixtures in total - with the top four sides in each pool progressing to the quarter-finals. The teams finishing fifth-eighth in each pool will drop into the Challenge Cup.

Leinster will begin their campaign away to Montpellier on December 11th, before welcoming Northampton Saints to the RDS a week later - a fixture which will be broadcast free-to-air by Virgin Media and Channel 4.

In round three Leinster then travel to Franklin’s Gardens in January before rounding off their pool campaign with the visit of Montpellier on Friday January 22nd.

Meawhile Munster welcome Harlequins to Thomond Park in round one, before a daunting trip to play Clermont Auvergne a week later. Clermont arrive in Limerick on January 16th before they finish with a trip to London.

Connacht begin their pool fixtures away to last year’s beaten finalists Racing 92, before Pat Lam returns to Galway with Bristol on December 20th. Andy Friend’s side travel to Ashton Gate on January 17th before they welcome Racing 92 to the Sportsground a week later.

And Ulster’s 2020-21 campaign begins with a Friday night cracker against Toulouse under the lights on December 11th.

They travel to play Gloucester at Kingsholm a week later, with the Cherry and Whites arriving in Belfast on January 16th - a fixture which is being broadcast on Virgin Media and Channel 4. Dan McFarland’s side complete the pool stages with a trip to play Toulouse on January 24th.

The two-legged quarter-finals will be staged on the weekends of April 2nd and 9th. The semi-finals will be played over one leg on the weekend of April 30th, before the final at the Stade Vélodrome on Saturday May 22nd.

Round One

Friday December 11th 2020
Pool A - Northampton Saints v Bordeaux-Begles, Franklin’s Gardens (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Ulster v Toulouse, Kingspan Stadium (8pm, BT Sport)

Saturday December 12th 2020
Pool B - Bristol Bears v Clermont Auvergne, Ashton Gate (1pm, Virgin Media/Channel 4/BT Sport)
Pool A - Toulon v Sale Sharks, Stade Felix-Mayol (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Dragons v Wasps, Rodney Parade (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Montpellier v Leinster, GGL Stadium (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Edinburgh v La Rochelle, Murrayfield (8pm, BT Sport)

Sunday December 13th 2020
Pool B - Lyon v Gloucester, Stade de Gerland (1pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Racing 92 v Connacht, La Defense Arena (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors, Sandy Park (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Munster v Harlequins, Thomond Park (5.30pm, BT Sport)

Round two

Friday December 18th 2020
Pool A - Scarlets v Toulon, Parc y Scarlets (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Wasps v Montpellier, Ricoh Arena (8pm, BT Sport)

Saturday December 19th 2020
Pool A - Leinster v Northampton Saints, RDS (1pm, Virgin Media/C4/BT Sport)
Pool B - Glasgow Warriors v Lyon, Scotstoun (1pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - La Rochelle v Bath, Stade Marcel Deflandre (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Gloucester v Ulster, Kingsholm (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Clermont Auvergne v Munster, Stade Marcel-Michelin (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Sale Sharks v Edinburgh, AJ Bell Stadium (8pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Bordeaux-Begles v Dragons, Stade Chaban-Delmas (8pm, BT Sport)

Sunday December 20th2020
Pool B - Harlequins v Racing 92, Twickenham Stoop (1pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Toulouse v Exeter Chiefs, Stade Ernest Wallon (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Connacht v Bristol Bears, The Sportsground (5.30pm, BT Sport)

Round Three

Friday January 15th 2021
Pool A - Northampton Saints v Leinster, Franklin’s Gardens (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Toulon v Scarlets, Stade Felix-Mayol (8pm, BT Sport)

Saturday January 16th 2021
Pool B - Lyon v Glasgow Warriors, Stade de Gerland (1pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Ulster v Gloucester, Kingspan Stadium (1pm, Virgin Media, C4, BT Sport)
Pool B - Exeter Chiefs v Toulouse, Sandy Park (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Edinburgh v Sale Sharks, Murrayfield (5pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Munster v Clermont Auvergne, Thomond Park (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Montpellier v Wasps, GGL Stadium (8pm, BT Sport)

Sunday January 17th 2021
Pool A - Bath v La Rochelle, The Rec (1pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Racing 92 v Harlequins, La Defense Arena (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Dragons v Bordeaux-Begles, Rodney Parade (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Bristol Bears v Connacht, Ashton Gate (5.30pm, BT Sport)

Round Four

Friday January 22nd 2021
Pool A - Leinster v Montpellier, RDS (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Sale Sharks v Toulon, AJ Bell Stadium (8pm, BT Sport)

Saturday January 23rd 2021
Pool A - Bordeaux-Begles v Northampton Saints, Stade Chaben-Delmas (1pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Scarlets v Bath, Parc y Scarlets (1pm, Virgin Media, C4, BT Sport)
Pool B - Clermont Auvergne v Bristol Bears, Stade Marcel-Michelin (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - La Rochelle v Edinburgh, Stade Marcel Deflandre (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Harlequins v Munster, Twickenham Stoop (5.30pm, BT Sport)
Pool A - Wasps v Dragons, Ricoh Arena (8pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Connacht v Racing 92, The Sportsground(8pm, BT Sport)

Sunday January 24th 2021
Pool B - Gloucester v Lyon, Kingsholm (1pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Toulouse v Ulster, Stade Ernest Wallon (3.15pm, BT Sport)
Pool B - Glasgow Warriors v Exeter Chiefs (5.30pm, BT Sport)

Champions Cup quarter-final first leg - April 2nd-4th 2021
Challenge Cup round of 16 - April 2nd-4th

Champions Cup quarter-final second leg - April 9th-11th
Challenge Cup quarter-finals - April 9th-11th

Champions Cup and Champions Cup semi-finals - April 30th-May 2nd

Challenge Cup final - Friday May 21st, Stade Vélodrome
Champions Cup final - Saturday May 22nd, Stade Vélodrome

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