The holders and four-time winners, Leinster Rugby, have been drawn in Pool 1 of the Heineken Champions Cup following the Pool Draws for EPCR’s tournaments which took place today (Wednesday 20 June) at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Leinster, who took the title in magnificent style in Bilbao last month, will be up against a trio of former champions in Wasps, Toulouse and Bath Rugby when the 2018/19 European season kicks off in October.
The Premiership winners, Saracens, have been drawn in Pool 3 with Glasgow Warriors, Lyon and Cardiff Blues.
Castres Olympique, who were recently crowned TOP 14 champions, will be in Pool 2 along with Exeter Chiefs, Munster Rugby and Gloucester Rugby.
Sale Sharks, the number-one ranked Gallagher Premiership Rugby club in the Challenge Cup draw, will take on Connacht Rugby, Bordeaux-Bègles and Perpignan in Pool 3, while Benetton Rugby, the highest-ranked PRO14 representative, are in Pool 5 with Harlequins, Agen and Grenoble.
The event, which was streamed live on epcrugby.com and official tournament Facebook channels, was compered by Sarra Elgan (BT Sport) and Raphael Ibanez (France Télévisions), and the draws were conducted by Austin Healey (BT Sport) and Dimitri Yachvili (beIN SPORTS).
2018/19 Heineken Champions Cup pools
Pool 1: Leinster Rugby, Wasps, Toulouse, Bath Rugby
Pool 2: Castres Olympique, Exeter Chiefs, Munster Rugby, Gloucester Rugby
Pool 3: Saracens, Glasgow Warriors, Lyon, Cardiff Blues
Pool 4: Scarlets, Racing 92, Leicester Tigers, Ulster Rugby
Pool 5: Montpellier, Newcastle Falcons, Edinburgh Rugby, RC Toulon
2018/19 Challenge Cup pools
Pool 1: Northampton Saints, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Dragons, Timisoara Saracens
Pool 2: Pau, Ospreys, Worcester Warriors, Stade Français Paris
Pool 3: Sale Sharks, Connacht Rugby, Bordeaux-Bègles, Perpignan
Pool 4: La Rochelle, Zebre Rugby Club, Bristol Bears, Enisei-STM
Pool 5: Benetton Rugby, Harlequins, Agen, Grenoble
EPCR weekends – 2018/19 season
Round 1: 12/13/14 October
Round 2: 19/20/21 October
Round 3: 7/8/9 December
Round 4: 14/15/16 December
Round 5: 11/12/13 January 2019
Round 6: 18/19/20 January 2019
Quarter-finals: 29/30/31 March 2019
Semi-finals: 19/20/21 April 2019
2019 Newcastle Finals
Challenge Cup final: Friday 10 May, St James’ Park
Champions Cup final: Saturday 11 May, St James’ Park