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2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup

The 2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup was the first season of the European Rugby Champions Cup (20th overall), the annual rugby union club competition for teams from the top six nations in European rugby, and the 20th season of professional European rugby union in total. It replaced the Heineken Cup as Europe's top-tier competition for rugby clubs.[1] The competition got underway on the weekend of 17 October 2014 with the first round of the pool stage, and ended with the final on 2 May 2015 at Twickenham Stadium, London, England.[2][3]

2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Scotland
 Wales
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and Knockout
Date17 October 2014 – 2 May 2015
Tournament statistics
Teams20
Matches played67
Attendance985,717 (14,712 per match)
Tries scored287 (4.28 per match)
Top point scorer(s)Ian Madigan (Leinster)
(113 points)
Top try scorer(s)George North (Northampton Saints)
(7 tries)
Final
VenueTwickenham Stadium, London
ChampionsFrance Toulon (3rd title)
Runners-upFrance Clermont
← 2013–14 (Previous)
(Next) 2015–16 →

Toulon were the champions having beaten Clermont 24–18 in a repeat of the 2013 Heineken Cup Final. Toulon retained their title for the second consecutive year, the first team to win three European titles in a row.

Contents

TeamsEdit

20 clubs, from the three major European domestic leagues, will compete in the Champions Cup:[1]

  • England: 7 clubs
  • France: 6 clubs, based on performance in the Top 14.
  • Ireland, Italy, Scotland & Wales: 7 clubs, based on performance in the Pro12.
    • The best placed club from each nation (4 clubs)
    • The 3 highest ranked clubs not qualified thereafter (3 clubs)

The following clubs qualified for the competition:

Aviva Premiership Top 14 Pro 12
  England   France   Ireland   Italy   Scotland   Wales

20th Team play-offEdit

The following teams took part in the play-off for the final place in the Champions Cup, having finished 7th in their respective leagues.

Aviva Premiership Top 14
  England   France
Wasps Stade Français

This play-off took place over two legs, on the weekends of 17/18 May and 24/25 May, with a draw being used to determine home advantage for each leg.[4] The draw took place on 6 May 2014, in Heathrow. Following the draw, the fixtures were announced as follows:[5]

18 May 2014
15:00 BST
Wasps   30–29   Stade Français
24 May 2014
14:45 CEST
Stade Français   6–20   Wasps

Wasps won the play-off 50–35 on aggregate and qualified for the Champions Cup.

Team detailsEdit

Below is the list of coaches, captain and stadiums with their method of qualification for each team.

Note: Placing shown in brackets, denotes standing at the end of the regular season for their respective leagues, with their end of season positioning shown through CH for Champions, RU for Runner-up, SF for losing Semi-finalist and QF for losing Quarter-finalist.

Team Coach /
Director of Rugby
Captain Stadium Capacity Method of Qualification
  Bath   Mike Ford   Stuart Hooper Recreation Ground 14,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (5th)
  Benetton Treviso   Umberto Casellato   Antonio Pavanello Stadio Comunale di Monigo 6,700 Top Pro12 Italian team (11th)
  Castres Olympique   Serge Milhas   Rémi Talès Stade Pierre-Antoine 11,500 Top 14 top 6 (6th) (RU)
  Clermont   Franck Azéma   Damien Chouly Stade Marcel-Michelin 18,000 Top 14 top 6 (3rd) (QF)
  Glasgow Warriors   Gregor Townsend   Alastair Kellock Scotstoun Stadium 9,708 Top Pro12 Scottish team (2nd) (RU)
  Harlequins   Conor O'Shea   Joe Marler The Stoop 14,816 Aviva Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)
  Leicester Tigers   Richard Cockerill   Ed Slater Welford Road 24,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (3rd) (SF)
  Leinster   Matt O'Connor   Jamie Heaslip RDS Arena
Aviva Stadium
18,500
51,700
Top Pro12 Irish team (1st) (CH)
  Montpellier   Jake White
(For   Fabien Galthié)[a]
  Fulgence Ouedraogo Altrad Stadium 14,700 Top 14 top 6 (2nd) (SF)
  Munster   Anthony Foley   Peter O'Mahony Thomond Park 25,600 Pro12 top 7 (3rd) (SF)
  Northampton Saints   Jim Mallinder   Dylan Hartley Franklin's Gardens 13,600 Aviva Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)
  Ospreys   Steve Tandy   Alun Wyn Jones Liberty Stadium 20,532 Top Pro12 Welsh Team (5th)
  Racing Métro   Laurent Labit   Dimitri Szarzewski Stade Yves-du-Manoir 14,000 Top 14 top 6 (5th) (SF)
  Sale Sharks   Bryan Redpath   Daniel Braid AJ Bell Stadium 12,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (6th)
  Saracens   Mark McCall   Alistair Hargreaves Allianz Park 10,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (1st) (RU)
  Scarlets   Wayne Pivac   Ken Owens Parc y Scarlets 14,870 Pro12 top 7 (6th)
  Toulon   Bernard Laporte   Carl Hayman Stade Mayol 15,400 Top 14 top 6 (1st) (CH)
  Toulouse   Guy Novès   Thierry Dusautoir Stade Ernest-Wallon 19,500 Top 14 top 6 (4th) (SF)
  Ulster   Neil Doak   Rory Best Kingspan Stadium 18,196 Pro12 top 7 (4th) (SF)
  Wasps   Dai Young   James Haskell Adams Park
Ricoh Arena[a 1]
10,516
32,609
7th Place play-off winner
  1. ^ Wasps moved their home ground to Ricoh Arena in Coventry,[7] and played their first match there on 21 December.[8]

SeedingEdit

The 20 competing teams were seeded and split into four tiers; seeding was based on performance in their respective domestic leagues.

For the purpose of creating the tiers, Aviva Premiership clubs were ranked only according to their finishing positions in the League table, and not based on performance in the knockout phase of the season, while Top 14 and Pro12 clubs were ranked based on their League performances and on their qualification for the knockout phases of their championships, so a losing quarter-finalist in the Top 14 would be seeded below a losing semi-finalist, even if they finished above them in the regular season.[9]

Rank Top 14 Premiership Pro 12
1   Toulon   Saracens   Leinster Rugby
2   Castres Olympique   Northampton Saints   Glasgow Warriors
3   Montpellier   Leicester Tigers   Munster
4   Racing Métro   Harlequins   Ulster
5   Clermont   Bath   Ospreys
6   Toulouse   Sale Sharks   Scarlets
7   Wasps   Benetton Treviso

Teams were taken from a league and put into a tier; a draw was used to allocate two second seeds to Tier 1, the remaining team went into Tier 2. This allocation then determined which fourth seeded team entered Tier 2, while the others entered Tier 3.

As with the previous European competition, the Heineken Cup, teams from the same country were kept apart where possible. However, as 7 teams qualified from England, 2 pools would by necessity contain two English teams and as 6 French teams qualified, there would be one pool with two French teams. Sale Sharks and Wasps would be drawn into pools which contained one other Aviva Premiership club, and Toulouse would be drawn into a pool which contained one other Top 14 club.

The brackets show each team's seeding and their league (for example, 1 Top 14 indicates the team was seeded 1st from the Top 14).

Tier 1   Leinster (1 Pro12)   Saracens (1 AP)   Toulon (1 Top 14)   Northampton Saints (2 AP)   Glasgow Warriors (2 Pro12)
Tier 2   Castres Olympique (2 Top 14)   Munster (3 Pro12)   Leicester Tigers (3 AP)   Montpellier (3 Top 14)   Racing Métro (4 Top14)
Tier 3   Harlequins (4 AP)   Ulster (4 Pro12)   Ospreys (5 Pro12)   Bath (5 AP)   Clermont (5 Top 14)
Tier 4   Scarlets (6 Pro12)   Sale Sharks (6 AP)   Toulouse (6 Top 14)   Wasps (Play-off)   Benetton Treviso (7 Pro12)

Pool stageEdit

The draw took place on 10 June 2014, at the Stade de la Maladière in Neuchâtel.[10][11]

Fixtures were announced on Thursday 14 August 2014 at 2pm.

Teams played each other twice, both at home and away, in the group stage, that began on the weekend of 17/18/19 October 2014, and continued through to 23/24/25 January 2015, before the pool winners and three best runners-up progressed to the quarter finals.[12][2]

Teams were awarded competition points, based on match result. Teams receive 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 1 attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match and 1 defensive bonus point for losing a match by seven points or fewer.[13]

In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers were used, as directed by EPCR:

  1. Where teams have played each other
    1. The club with the greater number of competition points from only matches involving tied teams.
    2. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in those matches.
    3. If equal, the club with the best aggregate points difference from those matches.
  2. Where teams remain tied and/or have not played each other in the competition (i.e. are from different pools)
    1. The club with the best aggregate points difference from the pool stage.
    2. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in the pool stage.
    3. If equal, the club with the fewest players suspended in the pool stage.
    4. If equal, the drawing of lots will determine a club's ranking.
Key to colours
     Winner of each pool, advance to quarter-finals.
     Three highest-ranked second-place teams advance to quarter-finals.

Pool 1Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Clermont (3) 6 5 0 1 140 80 +60 14 6 1 1 22
  Saracens (8) 6 4 0 2 119 95 +24 12 10 1 0 17
  Munster 6 3 0 3 144 114 +30 15 11 1 2 15
  Sale Sharks 6 0 0 6 82 196 −114 8 22 0 2 2

Pool 2Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Leinster (4) 6 4 1 1 148 101 +47 13 9 1 1 20
  Wasps (7) 6 3 1 2 155 105 +50 18 12 2 2 18
  Harlequins 6 4 0 2 135 99 +36 13 7 1 1 18
  Castres Olympique 6 0 0 6 86 219 −133 10 26 0 1 1

Pool 3Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Toulon (2) 6 5 0 1 181 89 +92 19 9 1 1 22
  Leicester Tigers 6 3 0 3 108 126 −18 12 15 1 0 13
  Ulster 6 2 0 4 116 146 −30 16 15 3 1 12
  Scarlets 6 2 0 4 90 134 −44 8 16 0 0 8

Pool 4Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Bath (5) 6 4 0 2 146 108 +38 15 15 2 1 19
  Toulouse 6 4 0 2 126 124 +2 11 10 0 1 17
  Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 108 84 +24 11 6 1 2 15
  Montpellier 6 1 0 5 90 154 −64 9 15 0 2 6

Pool 5Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Racing Métro (1) 6 5 1 0 168 69 +99 20 7 2 0 24
  Northampton Saints (6) 6 4 0 2 178 82 +96 25 8 3 0 19
  Ospreys 6 1 1 4 110 121 −11 11 13 1 2 8
  Benetton Treviso 6 1 0 5 62 246 −184 8 36 0 0 4

Seeding and runners-upEdit

Seed Pool Winners Pts TF +/−
1   Racing Métro 24 20 +99
2   Toulon 22 19 +92
3   Clermont 22 14 +60
4   Leinster 20 13 +47
5   Bath 19 15 +38
Seed Pool Runners–up Pts TF +/−
6   Northampton Saints 19 25 +96
7   Wasps 18 18 +50
8   Saracens 17 12 +24
9   Toulouse 17 11 +2
10   Leicester 13 15 -18

Knock-out stageEdit

The eight qualifiers were seeded according to performance in the pool stage, and competed in the quarter-finals, which were held on the weekend of 3–5 April 2015. The four top seeds hosted the quarter-finals against the lower seeds, in a 1v8, 2v7, 3v6 and 4v5 format.

The semi-finals were played on the weekend of 18–19 April 2015.

The winners of the semi-finals will contest the final, at Twickenham Stadium, on 2 May 2015.[3]

Quarter-finalsEdit

4 April 2015
15:15
Leinster   18–15   Bath
Pen: Madigan (6/6) 13', 24', 27', 34', 38', 52'
Report[14] Try: Ford 20' m
Hooper 46' c
Con: Ford (1/2) 47'
Pen: Ford (1/2) 73'
Aviva Stadium
Attendance: 43,958
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (FFR)
4 April 2015
18:45
Clermont   37–5   Northampton Saints
Try: Nakaitaci (2) 12' c, 30' c
Fofana 37' c
Abendanon 54' c
Con: James (4/4) 13', 32', 38', 55'
Pen: James (3/3) 4', 25', 46'
Report[15] Try: Waller 66' m
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin
Attendance: 17,730
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
5 April 2015
13:45
Racing Métro   11–12   Saracens
Try: Machenaud 26' m
Pen: Machenaud (2/2) 60', 70'
Report[16] Pen: Hodgson (2/4) 5', 40'
Goode (1/1) 47'
Bosch (1/1) 80+1'
Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Attendance: 12,113
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
5 April 2015
16:15
Toulon   32–18   Wasps
Try: Bastareaud 7' c
Williams 76' c
Con: Michalak (2/2) 7', 77'
Pen: Michalak (6/6) 16', 22', 27', 35', 38', 68'
Report[17] Try: Helu (2) 53' c, 72' m
Con: Goode (1/2) 54'
Pen: Lozowski (2/2) 12', 25'
Stade Mayol
Attendance: 15,228
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)

Semi-finalsEdit

18 April 2015
16:15
Clermont   13–9   Saracens
Try: Fofana 43'c
Con: James (1/1) 44'
Pen: James (2/2) 25', 72'
Report[18] Pen: Hodgson (1/1) 36'
Farrell (1/1) 65'
Drop: Hodgson (1/1) 14'
19 April 2015
16:15
Toulon   25–20
(A.E.T.)
  Leinster
Try: Habana 90' c
Con: Halfpenny (1/1) 91'
Pen: Halfpenny (6/7) 5', 29', 55', 67', 83', 89'
Report[19] Try: O'Brien 94' m
Pen: Madigan (5/6) 8', 16', 20', 69', 85'
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Attendance: 35,116
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

FinalEdit

2 May 2015
17:00 BST (UTC+01)
Clermont   18–24   Toulon
Try: Fofana 24' m
Abendanon 62' c
Con: Lopez (1/2) 62'
Pen: Lopez (2/2) 7', 12'
Report[20] Try: Bastareaud 40' c
Mitchell 69' m
Con: Halfpenny (1/2) 40+2'
Pen: Halfpenny (4/5) 16', 28', 32', 51'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 56,622
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Fabien Galthié began the tournament as Montpellier head coach, but was removed from his post on 30 December 2014, and replaced by Jake White.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Future of European Rugby resolved" (Press release). Rugby Football Union. 10 April 2014. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "EPCRugby.com – 10 things you may not know about EPCR". epcrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b Inaugural EPCR finals set for London Archived 2014-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Rugby Union – Anglo-French play-off dates announced, AFP 29/5/2014". afp.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-30. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  5. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup play-off draw, Premiership Rugby". premiershiprugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Montpellier unveil White as new boss" [Montpellier unveil White as new boss]. Planet Rugby. Planet Rugby. 30 December 2014. Archived from the original on 5 January 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Wasps in Coventry: Ricoh move to be completed by December". BBC Sport. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Wasps confirm opening Ricoh Arena fixture". BBC Sport. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  9. ^ http://archive.ercrugby.com/news/28791.php Archived 2014-08-13 at the Wayback Machine ERCRugby.com. Accessed 8 June 2014
  10. ^ "Irish Times – Rugby's European Champions Cup draw to place on June 10th. Accessed 31/5/14". irishtimes.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Munster and Ulster handed daunting pools in first-ever Rugby Champions Cup". The Score. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  12. ^ EPCRugby.com – 2014/15 EPCR Pool Draws Archived 2014-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Champions Cup Rules". www.epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  14. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-16. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  15. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  16. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  17. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  18. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  19. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  20. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 14 September 2017.