Saracens face tough draw in new European tournament

 

Heineken Cup runners-up Saracens were handed a tough group in next season's revamped European competition when the draw was made in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

The Londoners, who lost to Toulon in the last-ever Heineken Cup final last month, were drawn in Pool One of the new European Rugby Champions Cup alongside Munster, Clermont Auvergne and Sale.

Premiership champions Northampton, who beat Saracens in last month's domestic final, will be in Pool Five with Racing Métro, Ospreys and Treviso.

Leicester face the Heineken Cup winners and Top 14 champions, Toulon, as well as Ulster in another tricky group that includes Scarlets.

Harlequins are in Pool Two alongside the Pro12 champions Leinster, Castres and Wasps, while Bath are up against two heavyweight French sides in Pool Four, taking on Toulouse and Montpellier as well as Glasgow.

The five pool winners and three best runners-up will secure quarter-final places.

The European Rugby Champions Cup succeeds the Heineken Cup, which ran for 19 seasons. A new competition was decided upon in April comprising nine stakeholders – the six unions of competing teams, plus Premiership Rugby, France's Ligue Nationale de Rugby and Regional Rugby Wales.

Bordering on a new Europe

Draw for the 2014-15 European Rugby Champions Cup:

Pool 1 Saracens, Munster, Clermont Auvergne, Sale

Pool 2 Leinster, Castres, Harlequins, Wasps

Pool 3 Toulon, Leicester, Ulster, Scarlets

Pool 4 Glasgow, Montpellier, Bath, Toulouse

Pool 5 Northampton, Racing Métro, Ospreys, Treviso

Draw for the 2014-15 European Rugby Challenge Cup:

Pool 1 Cardiff Blues, London Irish, Grenoble, Fira 1 qualifier

Pool 2 Exeter, Bayonne, Connacht, La Rochelle

Pool 3 S Francais, Newport-Gwent, Newcastle, Fira 2 qualifier

Pool 4 Edinburgh, Bordeaux-Bègles, London Welsh, Lyon

Pool 5 Gloucester, Brive, Zebre, Oyonnax

Opening matches take place 16-19 Oct; final matches 22-25 Jan 2015

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all