Open main menu

2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup

The 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup (known as the Heineken Champions Cup for sponsorship reasons)[1] is the fifth season of the European Rugby Champions Cup, the annual club rugby union competition run by European Professional Club Rugby (ECPR) for teams from the top six nations in Europe. It is the 24th season of pan-European professional club rugby competition. This competition will be the first to be sponsored by Heineken since the 2013–14 season.

2018–19 Heineken Champions Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
 France
 Ireland
 Scotland
 Wales
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and knockout
Date12 October 2018 – 11 May 2019
Tournament statistics
Teams20
Matches played60
Attendance784,058 (13,068 per match)
Highest Attendance40,261 - Leinster v Bath
(15 December 2018)
Lowest Attendance6,383 - Newcastle v Montpellier
(21 October 2018)
Tries scored345 (5.75 per match)
Top point scorer(s)Ireland Joey Carbery (Munster)
68 points
Top try scorer(s)Ireland Sean Cronin (Leinster)
Ireland Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)
6 tries each
Final
VenueSt James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
← 2017–18 (Previous)
(Next) 2019–20 →

The tournament started on 12 October 2018. The final will take place on 11 May 2019 at St James' Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Contents

TeamsEdit

Twenty clubs from the three major European domestic and regional leagues competed in the Champions Cup. Nineteen of these qualified directly as a result of their league performance.

In a change to previous seasons, the play-off to decide the 20th team was not held.[2] The final place in the Champions Cup is now directly awarded in the following order:[3]

  1. Champions Cup winner, if not already qualified
  2. Challenge Cup winner, if not already qualified
  3. Challenge Cup losing finalist, if not already qualified
  4. Challenge Cup semi-finalist, if not already qualified, or the winner of a play-off between both semi-finalists, if both have not already qualified
  5. Highest ranked non-qualified club by virtue of league position from the same league as the Champions Cup winner

The distribution of teams is:

  • England: 7 clubs
  • France: 6 clubs
    • The top 6 clubs in the Top 14. (6 clubs)
  • Ireland, Scotland & Wales: 7 clubs, based on performance in the Pro14.
    • Following the inclusion of 2 South African teams into the Pro14, the tournament format and qualification process was changed.
    • The top 3 sides in each Pro14 conference (not including the South African sides, who are not eligible for European competition), automatically qualify for the Champions Cup. The previous requirement for each country (Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales) to be represented was waived beginning with this season.[2] (6 Teams)
    • The next best placed eligible team in each conference compete in a one-off play-off game to determine the 7th Pro14 team. (1 Team)

The following teams qualified for the 2018–19 tournament.

Premiership Top 14 Pro14
  England   France   Ireland   Scotland   Wales

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, QF for losing Quarter-finalist, and PO for the Pro14 7th place play-off winner.

Team Coach /
Director of Rugby
Captain Stadium Capacity Method of qualification
  Bath   Todd Blackadder   Matt Garvey Recreation Ground 14,500 English Premiership top 6 (6th)
  Cardiff Blues   John Mulvihill   Ellis Jenkins Cardiff Arms Park 12,125 Pro14 top three in Conference (4A)[a]
  Castres   Christophe Urios   Rodrigo Capó Ortega Stade Pierre-Fabre 12,500 Top 14 top 6 (6th) (CH)
  Edinburgh   Richard Cockerill   Stuart McInally Murrayfield Stadium 67,144 Pro14 top three in Conference (3B) (QF)
  Exeter Chiefs   Rob Baxter   Jack Yeandle Sandy Park 12,800 English Premiership top 6 (1st) (RU)
  Glasgow Warriors   Dave Rennie   Callum Gibbins Scotstoun Stadium 7,351 Pro14 top three in Conference (1A) (SF)
  Gloucester   David Humphreys   Willi Heinz Kingsholm Stadium 16,115 European Rugby Challenge Cup runners-up [b]
  Leicester Tigers   Geordan Murphy   Tom Youngs Welford Road 25,849 English Premiership top 6 (5th)
  Leinster   Leo Cullen   Jonathan Sexton RDS Arena
Aviva Stadium
18,500
51,700
Pro14 top three in Conference (1B) (CH)
  Lyon   Pierre Mignoni   Julien Puricelli Stade de Gerland 25,000 Top 14 top 6 (5th) (SF)
  Montpellier   Vern Cotter   Fulgence Ouedraogo Altrad Stadium 15,697 Top 14 top 6 (1st) (RU)
  Munster   Johann van Graan   Peter O'Mahony Thomond Park 25,600[c] Pro14 top three in Conference (2A) (SF)
  Newcastle Falcons   Dean Richards   Will Welch Kingston Park 10,200 English Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)
  Racing 92   Laurent Labit
  Laurent Travers
  Dimitri Szarzewski Paris La Défense Arena 30,681 Top 14 top 6 (2nd) (SF)
  Saracens   Mark McCall   Brad Barritt Allianz Park 10,000[d] English Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)
  Scarlets   Wayne Pivac   Ken Owens Parc y Scarlets 14,870 Pro14 top three in Conference (2B) (RU)
  Toulon   Patrice Collazo   Mathieu Bastareaud Stade Mayol 18,200 Top 14 top 6 (4th) (QF)
  Toulouse   Ugo Mola
  Régis Sonnes
  Julien Marchand Stade Ernest-Wallon 19,500 Top 14 top 6 (3rd) (SF)
  Ulster   Dan McFarland   Rory Best Ravenhill Stadium 18,196 Pro14 7th place play off winner [e]
  Wasps   Dai Young   Joe Launchbury Ricoh Arena 32,609 English Premiership top 6 (3rd) (SF)

SeedingEdit

The twenty competing teams are seeded and split into four tiers, each containing five teams.

For the purpose of creating the tiers, clubs are ranked based on their domestic league performances and on their qualification for the knockout phases of their championships. For example, a losing quarter-finalist would be seeded below a losing semi-finalist, even if they finished above them in the regular season.[5]

Rank Top 14 Premiership Pro14
1   Castres   Saracens   Leinster
2   Montpellier   Exeter Chiefs   Scarlets
3   Racing 92   Wasps   Glasgow Warriors
4   Lyon   Newcastle Falcons   Munster
5   Toulouse   Leicester Tigers   Edinburgh
6   Toulon   Bath   Cardiff Blues
7   Gloucester   Ulster

Based on these seedings, teams are placed into one of the four tiers, with the top seed clubs being put in Tier 1. The nature of the tier system means that a draw is needed to allocate two of the three second seed clubs to Tier 1 and to allocate one of the three fourth seed clubs to Tier 2. The tiers are shown below. 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   Saracens (1 Prem)   Leinster (1 Pro14)   Castres (1 Top 14)   Scarlets (2 Pro14)   Montpellier (2 Top 14)
Tier 2   Exeter Chiefs (2 Prem)   Wasps (3 Prem)   Glasgow Warriors (3 Pro14)   Racing 92 (3 Top 14)   Newcastle Falcons (4 Prem)
Tier 3   Munster (4 Pro14)   Lyon (4 Top 14)   Leicester Tigers (5 Prem)   Edinburgh (5 Pro14)   Toulouse (5 Top 14)
Tier 4   Bath (6 Prem)   Cardiff Blues (6 Pro14)   Toulon (6 Top 14)   Ulster (Play-off Pro14)   Gloucester (CC)

The following restrictions will apply to the draw:

  • Each pool will consist of four clubs, one from each Tier in the draw.
  • Each pool must have one from each league drawn from Tier 1, 2, or 3. No pool will have a second team from the same league until the allocation of Tier 4 takes place.
  • Where two Pro14 clubs compete in the same pool, they must be from different countries.

Pool stageEdit

[[File:|1000px|alt=Locations of teams of the 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup group stage.
  Brown: Pool 1;   Red: Pool 2;   Orange: Pool 3;   Yellow: Pool 4;   Green: Pool 5.]]
Locations of teams of the 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup group stage.
  Brown: Pool 1;   Red: Pool 2;   Orange: Pool 3;   Yellow: Pool 4;   Green: Pool 5.

The draw took place on 20 June 2018, in Lausanne, Switzerland.[6]

Teams in the same pool play each other twice, at home and away, in the group stage that begins on the weekend of 12-14 October 2018, and continues through to 18-20 January 2019. The five pool winners and three best runners-up progress to the quarter finals.

Teams are awarded group points based on match performances. Four points are awarded for a win, two points for a draw, one attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match and one defensive bonus point for losing a match by seven points or fewer.[7]

In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers will be 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 with the best aggregate points difference from those matches.
    3. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in 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 second-place teams with the highest number of points advance to quarter-finals.

Pool 1Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Leinster (Q) 6 5 0 1 204 88 116 27 10 4 1 25
  Toulouse (Q) 6 5 0 1 149 136 13 16 15 1 0 21
  Bath 6 1 1 4 115 152 –37 14 19 1 3 10
  Wasps 6 0 1 5 134 190 –92 13 26 1 1 4

[8]

Pool 2Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Munster (Q) 6 4 1 1 138 72 66 14 9 2 1 21
  Exeter Chiefs 6 2 1 3 124 104 20 18 11 2 2 14
  Castres 6 3 0 3 97 142 –45 11 16 1 1 14
  Gloucester 6 2 0 4 122 163 –41 15 22 0 0 9

[9]

Pool 3Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Saracens (Q) (H) 6 6 0 0 185 81 104 23 10 4 0 28
  Glasgow Warriors (Q) 6 4 0 2 147 119 28 19 16 3 0 19
  Cardiff Blues 6 2 0 4 138 174 –36 19 22 2 0 10
  Lyon 6 0 0 6 87 183 –96 10 23 0 0 0

[10]

Pool 4Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Racing 92 (Q) (H) 6 5 0 1 196 121 75 26 15 5 1 26
  Ulster (Q) 6 5 0 1 131 128 3 18 16 2 0 22
  Scarlets 6 1 0 5 145 170 –25 18 23 1 2 7
  Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 115 168 –53 14 22 2 1 7

[11]

Pool 5Edit

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
  Edinburgh (Q) (H) 6 5 0 1 154 83 71 16 11 2 1 23
  Montpellier 6 3 0 3 158 116 42 21 11 3 1 16
  Toulon 6 2 0 4 134 180 –46 16 21 1 1 10
  Newcastle Falcons 6 2 0 4 102 169 –67 10 20 0 1 9

[12]

Ranking of pool leaders and runners-upEdit

Rank Pool leaders Pts Diff TF
1   Saracens 28 104 23
2   Racing 92 26 75 26
3   Leinster 25 116 27
4   Edinburgh 23 71 16
5   Munster 21 66 14
Rank Pool runners–up Pts Diff TF
6   Ulster 22 3 18
7   Toulouse 21 13 16
8   Glasgow Warriors 19 28 19
9   Montpellier 16 42 21
10   Exeter Chiefs 14 20 18

Knock-out stageEdit

FormatEdit

The eight qualifiers are ranked according to their performance in the pool stage and compete in the quarter-finals which will be held on the weekend of 28–31 March 2019. The four top teams will host the quarter-finals against the four lower teams in a 1v8, 2v7, 3v6 and 4v5 format.

The semi-finals will be played on the weekend of 19–21 April 2019. As in recent seasons, a fixed semi-final bracket is set in advance. Beginning this season, the higher-seeded team will host each semi-final regardless of whether they won their quarter-final at home or on the road.[13]

The winners of the semi-finals will contest the final, at St James' Park, on 11 May 2019.

BracketEdit

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
         
1   Saracens
8   Glasgow Warriors
 
 
4   Edinburgh
5   Munster
 
 
2   Racing 92
7   Toulouse
 
 
3   Leinster
6   Ulster

AttendancesEdit

  • Does not include the attendance at the final as it takes place at a neutral venue.
Club Home
Games
Total Average Highest Lowest % Capacity
  Bath 3 40,020 13,340 14,429 12,284 92%
  Cardiff Blues 3 28,207 9,402 12,018 6,692 78%
  Castres 3 28,394 9,465 9,746 9,048 76%
  Edinburgh 3 25,661 8,554 11,802 6,803 13%
  Exeter Chiefs 3 36,311 12,104 12,749 11,762 95%
  Glasgow Warriors 3 22,053 7,351 7,351 7,351 100%
  Gloucester 3 37,398 12,466 15,500 9,993 77%
  Leicester Tigers 3 58,887 19,629 20,146 18,832 76%
  Leinster 3 76,809 25,603 40,261 18,055 92%
  Lyon 3 37,895 12,632 13,031 12,197 51%
  Montpellier 3 26,173 8,724 10,450 7,800 56%
  Munster 3 71,205 23,735 26,276 21,861 92%
  Newcastle Falcons 3 20,251 6,750 7,174 6,383 66%
  Racing 92 3 44,124 14,708 16,538 13,168 48%
  Saracens 3 28,528 9,509 10,000 8,528 95%
  Scarlets 3 23,572 7,857 8,087 7,421 53%
  Toulon 3 38,107 12,702 13,572 11,439 70%
  Toulouse 3 53,343 17,781 18,754 16,737 91%
  Ulster 3 42,118 14,039 16,842 12,124 77%
  Wasps 3 44,822 14,941 16,002 13,599 46%

[14]

Player scoringEdit

  • Appearance figures also include coming on as substitutes (unused substitutes not included).

Season recordsEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Cardiff qualified as Third in Conference A of the Pro14, the Cheetahs, were ineligible for European Rugby Competitions.
  2. ^ Gloucester qualified as Challenge Cup winners Cardiff qualified via the Pro14.
  3. ^ Thomond Park's official capacity is 25,600 but can be expanded up to 26,276 with temporary seating.
  4. ^ Allianz Park typically has a capacity of 10,000 but this can be raised to 15,000 with temporary seating.
  5. ^ Ulster, as 4th eligible team in Conference B, beat the 4th eligible team in Conference A, the Ospreys, for the 7th qualification position from the Pro14.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Heineken® Returns as Headline Sponsor of European Rugby Champions Cup". Heineken. 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b http://www.epcrugby.com/news/35907.php
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2018-05-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ the winner of both European competitions from last year, Leinster and Cardiff Blues having already qualified through a top 6 finish in the Pro14
  5. ^ http://archive.ercrugby.com/news/28791.php Archived 2014-08-13 at the Wayback Machine ERCRugby.com. Accessed 8 June 2014
  6. ^ "2018/19 Pool Draws produce top-quality fixtures". epcrugby.com. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Champions Cup Rules". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  8. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals". EPCR. 19 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  14. ^ a b "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Home attendance". Rugby Statbunker. 20 January 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Player Statistics". EPCR. 20 January 2019.
  16. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most points in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 13 January 2019.
  17. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most tries in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 13 January 2019.
  18. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most conversions in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 13 January 2019.
  19. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most penalties in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 13 January 2019.
  20. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most points in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 13 January 2019.
  21. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most tries in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 13 January 2019.
  22. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most conversions in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 13 January 2019.
  23. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most penalties in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 13 January 2019.