Champions Cup format altered due to COVID-19 crisis

04 Septembre, 2020, 14:28 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Champions Cup format altered due to COVID-19 crisis

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Eight teams from the Pro 14, including all the Irish provinces, eight teams from the Top 14 in France, and eight teams from the English Premiership will make up the numbers for next season only.

The 2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup will be competed for by 24 clubs with the eight highest-ranked representatives from the Gallagher Premiership, the Guinness PRO14 and the TOP 14 securing their places.

The European Champions Cup has been expanded to include 24 teams and the 2020-21 Challenge Cup format has also been altered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the top four from each pool progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup, the eight teams ranked from fifth to eighth in each will drop down to the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup, where they will join the eight highest-ranked clubs from a 14-team pool stage - an singular pool in which each side plays four matches against the teams from the two other leagues. No teams from the same country will meet in the pool phase, while a tier system will be implemented to draw groups.

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Four rounds of pool matches will be followed by single knockout matches from a round-of-16 onwards.

The number one and number two ranked clubs from each league will be in Tier 1, the number three and number four ranked clubs will be in Tier 2, the number five and six ranked clubs will be in Tier 3, and the number 7 and number 8 ranked clubs will be Tier 4.

The EPCR is looking at alternate venues to ensure this year's finals go ahead on the weekend of 16-18 October after Marseille was ruled out.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) has agreed to add four teams to the competition - and alter the format for one season to cut one match from the campaign.

"In this time of change, the Champions Cup with its global stars of the game, its passionate supporters and its unique match-day atmosphere undoubtedly remains The One to Win".

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