With the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup draw taking place today, we take a look at the final club returning to the competition in EPCR Challenge Cup winners Lyon.
2020/21: Round of 16
Lyon have appeared in the tournament only three times previously and they have improved each season, with their best performance by far being the Covid-hit 2020/21 campaign, when they topped Pool B.
They won both their matches, although the second victory – a 28-0 scoreline at Glasgow Warriors – was awarded to them by the EPCR Match Resolution Committee, after they had crushed Gloucester Rugby 55-10 at Matmut Stadium de Gerland, with Xavier Mignot scoring three of their eight tries.
However, it was a different story when they returned to England for their Round of 16 tie at Exeter Chiefs, who eventually overwhelmed them 47-25, after the TOP 14 club had led 14-0 via converted tries from Toby Arnold and Mignot. They managed only one more, though, from Dylan Cretin a minute from time.
Lyon’s two previous seasons in the Heineken Champions Cup – 2018/19 and 2019/20 – brought a solitary victory, with their maiden campaign ending pointless after six defeats from their six pool games.
They finally got off the mark in Round 3 in the latter season, whitewashing Benetton Rugby 28-0 at home after a four-try display.
As they also gained two losing bonus points in 2019/20 – in a 13-6 home defeat by Leinster Rugby and a 25-22 reversal at Benetton – they avoided bottom place by a point.