Leinster and Munster get home advantage in revised format for Champions Cup

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The Champions Cup trophy, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Duncan Bech, PA

Both Leinster and Munster are guaranteed home advantage in the new Champions Cup format. For the first time ever there will be a round of 16 stage in the competition.

Wasps join Exeter, Bristol, Gloucester and Sale in being promoted from the group phase, the last two rounds of which were aborted when the French government blocked its Top 14 teams from taking part in cross-border competition due to coronavirus fears.

The round of 16 will be staged on the weekend of April 2nd to 4th with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final in Marseille taking place as scheduled.

Wasps will play their round of 16 game at the Ricoh Arena (David Davies/PA)

A draw made up of the eight highest-ranked clubs in Pool A and Pool B at the time of last month’s suspension will be held on March 9 to determine the line up for the next two rounds.

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Teams from the same league cannot be drawn against one another and those sides that won both pool games on the field – Wasps, Racing 92, Leinster, Bordeaux-Begles and Munster – are all guaranteed a home match in the round of 16.

For the Challenge Cup, the eight highest-ranked clubs from the preliminary stage at the time of the suspension and the eight clubs which have not qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions Cup will compete in a round of 16.

Exeter are the Champions Cup holders (David Davis/PA)

Champions Cup knockout stage qualifiers:
Racing 92, Leinster Rugby, Wasps, Bordeaux-Begles, Munster Rugby, Lyon, Toulouse, La Rochelle, Scarlets, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Bristol Bears, Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh Rugby, Gloucester Rugby, RC Toulon, Sale Sharks.

Challenge Cup knockout stage qualifiers:
London Irish, Ospreys, Leicester Tigers, Cardiff Blues, Zebre Rugby Club, Agen, Benetton Rugby, Newcastle Falcons, Ulster Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Northampton Saints, Bath Rugby, Montpellier, Dragons, Harlequins, Glasgow Warriors.

Champions Cup schedule:
Rounds of 16 – April 2-4
Quarter-finals – April 9-11
Semi-finals – April 30, May 1-2
Final – May 22

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