Our look into the Heineken Champions Cup Pool A sides continues with a profile of Union Bordeaux-Bègles, semi-finalists in 2021.

Heineken Champions Cup record

Bordeaux have never reached an EPCR final, but came close in 2020/21, beating Bristol Bears (36-17) and Racing 92 (24-21) in the knockout stage to set up a semi-final with Stade Toulousain, before ultimately losing 21-9 at their TOP 14 rivals.

Last season was Bordeaux’s sixth campaign in EPCR’s elite competition and saw them reach the knockout stage for only the second time in their history.

Last season

Bordeaux finished third in Pool A, with their 45-10 thrashing of Scarlets in Round 3 key to their progression as coronavirus complications disrupted their fixtures.

They came up against eventual winners and fellow TOP 14 side Stade Rochelais in the Round of 16, losing 31-13 in the home leg before going down 31-23 at Stade Marcel Deflandre – a 62-36 aggregate defeat.

Director of rugby

Christophe Urios took over at Bordeaux in 2018, having guided Castres Olympique to the TOP 14 title that year. He also led US Oyonnax to the PRO D2 title in 2013.

A hooker in his playing days, Frenchman Urios had a five-year spell at US Carcassonne before spending almost a decade with Castres, where he featured five times in EPCR competitions.

Key players

Bordeaux lost influential flanker Cameron Woki to Racing this summer, but their pack is still littered with French international talent in the likes of prop Jefferson Poirot and lock Thomas Jolmès, while flanker Mahamadou Diaby is another big presence.

Maxime Lucu and Matthieu Jalibert form a slick half-back partnership, with centre Yoram Moefana, full-back Romain Buros and Argentina wing Santiago Cordero other dynamic options in backs.

Wing Madosh Tambwe is a fresh addition from Vodacom Bulls and will provide Bordeaux with an added try threat.

Pool fixtures

Bordeaux travel to Gloucester Rugby in their opening Pool A match on December 10, before hosting Heineken Champions Cup newcomers Cell C Sharks on December 16.

They then travel to Durban to play Cell C Sharks again on January 14, with the visit of Gloucester to Stade Chaban-Delmas completing their pool fixtures on January 21.