The EPCR has confirmed that the draw for the group stage of the Champions Cup will be carried out on July 21 in Lausanne as well as the procedure which will make it possible to designate the oppositions during the four days of the program.
The Champions Cup season will start on July 21. While the first of the four days of the group stage will not take place before December 10, 11 and 12, the EPCR confirmed this Friday that the draw will take place in just under three weeks at the occasion of a ceremony organized in Lausanne. To this date, the 24 clubs entered will be divided into two pools of twelve teams but each team entered will face only two others, necessarily from the other two championships concerned by the Champions Cup (Top 14, Premiership and Pro14). To form the four hats of six teams, the European body was based on the classification of each of the championships with the first two in hat 1 and so on. In other words, the recent Top 14 finalists, Toulouse and La Rochelle, will be “seeded” for this draw.
The Champions Cup group draw will mark the first stage of the 2021/2022 season which will end with the final in Marseille 🤩
It will be organized in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Wednesday July 21 at 1:00 p.m. 🗓
Find out more here 👉 https://t.co/B8oTJoTzlB pic.twitter.com/PwOIj6ToQG
— Champions Cup France (@ChampionsCup_FR) July 2, 2021
Castres and Montpellier have everything to fear from the draw
According to the procedure set up by the EPCR, these two clubs will only be able to face teams from hat 4 but not playing in Top 14, i.e. Bath, Wasps, Cardiff and / or Glasgow Warriors, thus avoiding Castres and Montpellier. These two clubs, for their part, will anxiously watch this draw. Indeed, Castres and Montpellier will face Harlequins, Exeter, Leinster and / or Munster. The same procedure will apply to hats 3 and 3 which, respectively, will concern Racing 92, Bordeaux-Bègles, Clermont and Stade Français Paris. Once the draw has been made, each club will know what its program will be for the four days planned for next December and January. The classification of each of the two pools will establish the program for the round of 16, which will be played in the form of two-way matches in April 2022.