ASM Clermont Auvergne president Eric de Cromières targeted “at least” a place in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup, after the French club were drawn in Pool 3 alongside Irish side Ulster Rugby and English duo Bath Rugby and Harlequins.
The TOP 14 runners-up defeated Quins 32-27 as recently as April in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup, won their only meeting with Bath in the 2007 Challenge Cup final and are level at 2-2 with Ulster on head-to-heads.
“I’m satisfied with the draw,” De Cromières told La Montagne newspaper. “The pool is balanced and there are some lovely trips in prospect – to Bath, London and Belfast.
“Beware Ulster, who are always a killer, but our aim should be to reach the quarter-finals at least. Afterwards, everything will depend on the opposition.”
La Poule 3 avec des ailiers électriques !
Quel joueur va marquer plus d'essais? 💎 pic.twitter.com/2OLBnke3pD
— Champions Cup France (@ChampionsCup_FR) June 21, 2019
Despite being placed in Tier 1 in Wednesday’s draw and so being granted the status of favourites, Clermont forwards coach Bernard Goutta described the pool as “very open” and is looking forward to some entertaining matches.
“They are three teams who do well and love to play,” he told La Montagne “I think that will throw up some enthralling confrontations.
“It will be important to win all our home games and try to pick up one or two wins away from home.”