As our Heineken Champions Cup spotlights continue, we take an in-depth look at Pool 3, featuring two European Cup winners and two Challenge Cup victors.
ASM Clermont Auvergne
Ground: Stade Marcel-Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
European Cup record: Clermont are three-time finalists in the European Cup but have yet to lift the trophy. They were beaten in the final by RC Toulon in 2013 and 2015, while Saracens were their conquerors in 2017.
Last season: Having dropped into the Challenge Cup, Clermont swept aside all before them as they won the competition for tha third time, defeating La Rochelle 36-16 in the final at St. James’ Park in Newcastle.
Director of rugby: Franck Azema remains in charge at Clermont, having taken the role of director of rugby back in 2014.
New signings: After a successful 2018/19 campaign, Clermont have added Harlequins lock George Merrick and Agen fly-half Jake McIntyre to their ranks.
Ground: The Recreation Ground, Bath, England.
European Cup record: Bath became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1998, defeating Brive 9-8 in Bordeaux. Since then, they have reached the semi-finals once, in 2005, when they fell 18-9 to Biarritz Olympique.
Last season: The Blue, Black and Whites failed to progress from the pool stage after recording just one victory, against Wasps, in their six games to finish third.
Director of rugby: Former Bath captain Stuart Hooper has taken over the reins from the departing Todd Blackadder, after spending the last couple of campaigns as the club’s general manager.
New signings: The West Country side have bolstered their front three, with props Lewis Boyce (Harlequins) and Will Stuart (Wasps) joining the club during the off-season. Elsewhere, back-rowers Josh McNally and Mike Williams have arrived from London Irish and Leicester Tigers respectively.
We look back at an absolute cracker 👁💭
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) July 11, 2019
Ground: Twickenham Stoop, London, England.
European Cup record: The English side have reached the last eight on four occasions but have yet to get any further. The most recent knockout stage loss came in 2013 against Munster Rugby.
Last season: Harlequins topped Challenge Cup Pool 5 and defeated Worcester Warriors 18-16 to reach the semi-finals. However, they were then beaten 32-27 by eventual winners ASM Clermont Auvergne.
Head of rugby: Paul Gustard remains in charge at Harlequins, having been appointed to his present role in August 2018.
New signings: They have made a number of key additions during the off-season, including prop Santiago Garcia Botta and scrum-half Martin Landajo from Super Rugby finalists Jaguares, plus centre Michele Campagnaro from Wasps and hooker Scott Baldwin from Ospreys.
Ground: Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
European Cup record: Ulster Rugby were the first Irish province to win the European Cup, defeating Colomiers 21-6 to win the 1999 competition. They also reached the 2012 final but were beaten 42-14 by Leinster Rugby.
Last season: The Irish province finished second in Pool 4 behind Racing 92 but qualified for the quarter-finals as one of the best runners-up, having racked up 22 points. However, they lost 21-18 to defending champions Leinster Rugby, despite leading 18-13 at one stage.
Director of rugby: Dan McFarland took over at Ulster last season, having been assistant coach at Glasgow Warriors and Scotland.
New signings: Lock Sam Carter has joined the ranks from Super Rugby side Brumbies, while props Gareth Milasinovich (Worcester) and Jack McGrath (Leinster), centre Matt Faddes (Highlanders) and fly-half Bill Johnston (Munster) have also moved to the Kingspan.