Saints to start Champions Cup campaign in December

Saints will start their Heineken Champions Cup campaign on the second weekend of December, it has been announced today.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 4:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 4:16 pm
Saints boss Chris Boyd

EPCR has revealed some modifications to the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup formats for 2021/22, with key dates for next season now also confirmed.

By virtue of finishing the Gallagher Premiership campaign in fifth place on the ladder, Saints have qualified for Europe’s elite competition for the third season running.

Eight representatives from each of the Gallagher Premiership, TOP 14 and Guinness PRO14 will compete in the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup.

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All qualified clubs and their rankings will be officially confirmed once this season’s domestic competitions are concluded.

Played over nine weekends, the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup will kick off in December, with the last of four pool stage rounds scheduled for the weekend of January 21/22/23.

The knockout stages will start on the weekend of April 8/9/10 with a round of 16 which will be played over two legs on a home and away basis, followed by quarter-finals and semi-finals, with the Marseille finals then going ahead on the weekend of May 27/28.

“As we put the finishing touches to a brand-new shareholder agreement which promises to be positive for everyone involved in our tournaments, we are continuing to refine and develop the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, and next season will see a return to a full series of massively exciting and competitive matches across Europe,” said EPCR chief executive Vincent Gaillard.

Discussions to finalise all details of the formats for next season, and future seasons, within the framework of the new shareholder agreement, are ongoing.

These discussions include the future participation of South African clubs in EPCR’s tournaments.

Key dates: 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup

Round one: December 10/11/12

Round two: December 17/18/19

Round three: January 14/15/16

Round four: January 21/22/23

Round of 16 (1st leg): April 8/9/10

Round of 16 (2nd leg): April 15/16/17

Quarter-finals: May 6/7/8

Semi-finals: May 13/14/15

Heineken Champions Cup final: Saturday, May 28 (Stade Vélodrome, Marseille)