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Rugby

Connacht secure place in 24 team Champions Cup for next season

All of the Irish provinces will compete in the Heineken Champions Cup next season after the EPCR ...



Connacht secure place in 24 te...
Rugby

Connacht secure place in 24 team Champions Cup for next season

All of the Irish provinces will compete in the Heineken Champions Cup next season after the EPCR confirmed a new format for the 2020/21 campaign.

The decision to alter the formats for the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup has been made on an exceptional basis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

24 teams will compete for silverware, with eight of them drawn from the Pro 14, eight from the English Premiership, and eight from the Top 14 in France.

The clubs will be divided into two pools of 12 by way of a draw and the tournament will be held over eight weekends, culminating in the final in Marseille on the 22nd of May 2021.

The two pools will consist of clubs ranked by tier, with the top two clubs in each league forming tier one for example, and the bottom two clubs in each league forming tier four.

Each club will play four matches in the pool stage, two at home and two away. Clubs cannot face another club from the same tier and same league. There will be no repeat of domestic matches in the pool stage.

The four highest-ranked clubs from each pool will qualify for the quarter-finals. These quarter-final matches will be played over two legs. The semi-final matches will be on a knockout basis.

The new season will start on the weekend of the 11th / 12th and 13th of December.

The current season's finals are set to take place on the weekend of the 16th / 17th and 18th of October, with Leinster and Ulster to play in the quarter-finals of the ongoing Champions Cup later this month.

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