EPCR confirm new format for 2023/24 Champions Cup
Glasgow Warriors will compete in a new multi-pool Heineken Champions Cup format in 2023/24, after tournament organisers EPCR confirmed the schedule ahead of the new campaign.
The new format will see the 24 qualified teams divided into four pools of six, replacing the previous two 12-team groups that have been in place since 2020.
How the new pool stages will work
Each of the four pools will contain two teams from the United Rugby Championship, two teams from the English Premiership and two teams from the Top14.
Teams from the same league will not play each other in the pool stage, meaning that Glasgow Warriors cannot play another URC team until the knockout stages.
Each competing club will play four matches against four different teams in the pool stage; this means that Glasgow Warriors will play home or away against each of the English and French teams in their pool.
The top four clubs in each pool will qualify for the Round of 16, with the team finishing in fifth place in each pool dropping into the same stage in the EPCR Challenge Cup.
When will we find out who Glasgow Warriors will play?
The draw for the 2023/24 Heineken Champions Cup pool stages will take place on Wednesday 21 June at 12.30pm.
Teams will be split into two tiers; Tier One will include La Rochelle as the competition’s defending champions the winners of each domestic league – Munster, Saracens and the winner of this weekend’s Top14 Final between La Rochelle and Toulouse. Should La Rochelle win the Top14, then Leinster (as runners-up in the 2022/23 Champions Cup) will take the fourth spot in Tier One.
All of the remaining 20 teams will be placed in Tier Two.
Teams from the same URC Shield cannot be drawn together, meaning that the four Irish provinces will be kept apart in the pool stages, as will the two qualified South African teams.
The pool draws for the 2023/24 tournaments will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday 21 June and will be broadcast live on EPCRugby.TV. Further details and timings will be communicated shortly.
2023/24 CHAMPIONS CUP QUALIFIERS
TOP 14: Stade Rochelais, Stade Toulousain, Racing 92, Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Lyon, Stade Français Paris, RC Toulon, Aviron Bayonnais
GALLAGHER PREMIERSHIP: Saracens, Sale Sharks, Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Exeter Chiefs, Bath Rugby, Bristol Bears
BKT UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP: Munster Rugby, DHL Stormers, Leinster Rugby, Ulster Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Vodacom Bulls, Connacht Rugby, Cardiff Rugby
Round 1 – 8/9/10 December 2023
Round 2 – 15/16/17 December 2023
Round 3 – 12/13/14 January 2024
Round 4 – 19/20/21 January 2024
Round of 16 – 5/6/7 April 2024
Quarter-finals – 12/13/14 April 2024
Semi-finals – 3/4/5 May 2024
EPCR Challenge Cup final – Friday 24 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Champions Cup final – Saturday 25 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium