|2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Tournament format(s)||Round-robin and Knockout|
|Date||17 October 2014 – 2 May 2015|
|Attendance||985,717 (14,712 per match)|
|Tries scored||287 (4.28 per match)|
|Top point scorer(s)||Ian Madigan (Leinster)|
|Top try scorer(s)||George North (Northampton Saints)|
|Venue||Twickenham Stadium, London|
|Champions||Toulon (3rd title)|
The 2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup was the first season of the European Rugby Champions Cup (20th overall), the annual rugby union club competition for teams from the top six nations in European rugby, and the 20th season of professional European rugby union in total. It replaced the Heineken Cup as Europe's top-tier competition for rugby clubs. The competition got underway on the weekend of 17 October 2014 with the first round of the pool stage, and ended with the final on 2 May 2015 at Twickenham Stadium, London, England.
Toulon were the champions having beaten Clermont 24–18 in a repeat of the 2013 Heineken Cup Final. Toulon retained their title for the second consecutive year, the first team to win three European titles in a row.
20 clubs, from the three major European domestic leagues, will compete in the Champions Cup:
The following clubs qualified for the competition:
|Aviva Premiership||Top 14||Pro 12|
The following teams took part in the play-off for the final place in the Champions Cup, having finished 7th in their respective leagues.
|Aviva Premiership||Top 14|
This play-off took place over two legs, on the weekends of 17/18 May and 24/25 May, with a draw being used to determine home advantage for each leg. The draw took place on 6 May 2014, in Heathrow. Following the draw, the fixtures were announced as follows:
Wasps won the play-off 50–35 on aggregate and qualified for the Champions Cup.
Below is the list of coaches, captain and stadiums with their method of qualification for each team.
Note: Placing shown in brackets, denotes standing at the end of the regular season for their respective leagues, with their end of season positioning shown through CH for Champions, RU for Runner-up, SF for losing Semi-finalist and QF for losing Quarter-finalist.
Director of Rugby
|Captain||Stadium||Capacity||Method of Qualification|
|Bath||Mike Ford||Stuart Hooper||Recreation Ground||14,000||Aviva Premiership top 6 (5th)|
|Benetton Treviso||Umberto Casellato||Antonio Pavanello||Stadio Comunale di Monigo||6,700||Top Pro12 Italian team (11th)|
|Castres Olympique||Serge Milhas||Rémi Talès||Stade Pierre-Antoine||11,500||Top 14 top 6 (6th) (RU)|
|Clermont||Franck Azéma||Damien Chouly||Stade Marcel-Michelin||18,000||Top 14 top 6 (3rd) (QF)|
|Glasgow Warriors||Gregor Townsend||Alastair Kellock||Scotstoun Stadium||9,708||Top Pro12 Scottish team (2nd) (RU)|
|Harlequins||Conor O'Shea||Joe Marler||The Stoop||14,816||Aviva Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)|
|Leicester Tigers||Richard Cockerill||Ed Slater||Welford Road||24,000||Aviva Premiership top 6 (3rd) (SF)|
|Leinster||Matt O'Connor||Jamie Heaslip||RDS Arena
|Top Pro12 Irish team (1st) (CH)|
|Montpellier|| Jake White
(For Fabien Galthié)[a]
|Fulgence Ouedraogo||Altrad Stadium||14,700||Top 14 top 6 (2nd) (SF)|
|Munster||Anthony Foley||Peter O'Mahony||Thomond Park||25,600||Pro12 top 7 (3rd) (SF)|
|Northampton Saints||Jim Mallinder||Dylan Hartley||Franklin's Gardens||13,600||Aviva Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)|
|Ospreys||Steve Tandy||Alun Wyn Jones||Liberty Stadium||20,532||Top Pro12 Welsh Team (5th)|
|Racing Métro||Laurent Labit||Dimitri Szarzewski||Stade Yves-du-Manoir||14,000||Top 14 top 6 (5th) (SF)|
|Sale Sharks||Bryan Redpath||Daniel Braid||AJ Bell Stadium||12,000||Aviva Premiership top 6 (6th)|
|Saracens||Mark McCall||Alistair Hargreaves||Allianz Park||10,000||Aviva Premiership top 6 (1st) (RU)|
|Scarlets||Wayne Pivac||Ken Owens||Parc y Scarlets||14,870||Pro12 top 7 (6th)|
|Toulon||Bernard Laporte||Carl Hayman||Stade Mayol||15,400||Top 14 top 6 (1st) (CH)|
|Toulouse||Guy Novès||Thierry Dusautoir||Stade Ernest-Wallon||19,500||Top 14 top 6 (4th) (SF)|
|Ulster||Neil Doak||Rory Best||Kingspan Stadium||18,196||Pro12 top 7 (4th) (SF)|
|Wasps||Dai Young||James Haskell||Adams Park
Ricoh Arena[a 1]
|7th Place play-off winner|
The 20 competing teams were seeded and split into four tiers; seeding was based on performance in their respective domestic leagues.
For the purpose of creating the tiers, Aviva Premiership clubs were ranked only according to their finishing positions in the League table, and not based on performance in the knockout phase of the season, while Top 14 and Pro12 clubs were ranked based on their League performances and on their qualification for the knockout phases of their championships, so a losing quarter-finalist in the Top 14 would be seeded below a losing semi-finalist, even if they finished above them in the regular season.
|Rank||Top 14||Premiership||Pro 12|
|2||Castres Olympique||Northampton Saints||Glasgow Warriors|
Teams were taken from a league and put into a tier; a draw was used to allocate two second seeds to Tier 1, the remaining team went into Tier 2. This allocation then determined which fourth seeded team entered Tier 2, while the others entered Tier 3.
As with the previous European competition, the Heineken Cup, teams from the same country were kept apart where possible. However, as 7 teams qualified from England, 2 pools would by necessity contain two English teams and as 6 French teams qualified, there would be one pool with two French teams. Sale Sharks and Wasps would be drawn into pools which contained one other Aviva Premiership club, and Toulouse would be drawn into a pool which contained one other Top 14 club.
The brackets show each team's seeding and their league (for example, 1 Top 14 indicates the team was seeded 1st from the Top 14).
|Tier 1||Leinster (1 Pro12)||Saracens (1 AP)||Toulon (1 Top 14)||Northampton Saints (2 AP)||Glasgow Warriors (2 Pro12)|
|Tier 2||Castres Olympique (2 Top 14)||Munster (3 Pro12)||Leicester Tigers (3 AP)||Montpellier (3 Top 14)||Racing Métro (4 Top14)|
|Tier 3||Harlequins (4 AP)||Ulster (4 Pro12)||Ospreys (5 Pro12)||Bath (5 AP)||Clermont (5 Top 14)|
|Tier 4||Scarlets (6 Pro12)||Sale Sharks (6 AP)||Toulouse (6 Top 14)||Wasps (Play-off)||Benetton Treviso (7 Pro12)|
Fixtures were announced on Thursday 14 August 2014 at 2pm.
Teams played each other twice, both at home and away, in the group stage, that began on the weekend of 17/18/19 October 2014, and continued through to 23/24/25 January 2015, before the pool winners and three best runners-up progressed to the quarter finals.
Teams were awarded competition points, based on match result. Teams receive 4 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 1 attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match and 1 defensive bonus point for losing a match by seven points or fewer.
In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers were used, as directed by EPCR:
|Winner of each pool, advance to quarter-finals.|
|Three highest-ranked second-place teams advance to quarter-finals.|
|Racing Métro (1)||6||5||1||0||168||69||+99||20||7||2||0||24|
|Northampton Saints (6)||6||4||0||2||178||82||+96||25||8||3||0||19|
The eight qualifiers were seeded according to performance in the pool stage, and competed in the quarter-finals, which were held on the weekend of 3–5 April 2015. The four top seeds hosted the quarter-finals against the lower seeds, in a 1v8, 2v7, 3v6 and 4v5 format.
The semi-finals were played on the weekend of 18–19 April 2015.
4 April 2015
|Pen: Madigan (6/6) 13', 24', 27', 34', 38', 52'
||Report||Try: Ford 20' m|
Hooper 46' c
Con: Ford (1/2) 47'
Pen: Ford (1/2) 73'
4 April 2015
|Try: Nakaitaci (2) 12' c, 30' c
Fofana 37' c
Abendanon 54' c
Con: James (4/4) 13', 32', 38', 55'
Pen: James (3/3) 4', 25', 46'
|Report||Try: Waller 66' m|
5 April 2015
|Try: Machenaud 26' m
Pen: Machenaud (2/2) 60', 70'
|Report||Pen: Hodgson (2/4) 5', 40'|
Goode (1/1) 47'
Bosch (1/1) 80+1'
5 April 2015
|Try: Bastareaud 7' c
Williams 76' c
Con: Michalak (2/2) 7', 77'
Pen: Michalak (6/6) 16', 22', 27', 35', 38', 68'
|Report||Try: Helu (2) 53' c, 72' m|
Con: Goode (1/2) 54'
Pen: Lozowski (2/2) 12', 25'
18 April 2015
|Try: Fofana 43'c
Con: James (1/1) 44'
Pen: James (2/2) 25', 72'
|Report||Pen: Hodgson (1/1) 36'|
Farrell (1/1) 65'
Drop: Hodgson (1/1) 14'
19 April 2015
|Try: Habana 90' c
Con: Halfpenny (1/1) 91'
Pen: Halfpenny (6/7) 5', 29', 55', 67', 83', 89'
|Report||Try: O'Brien 94' m|
Pen: Madigan (5/6) 8', 16', 20', 69', 85'
|Try: Fofana 24' m
Abendanon 62' c
Con: Lopez (1/2) 62'
Pen: Lopez (2/2) 7', 12'
|Report||Try: Bastareaud 40' c|
Mitchell 69' m
Con: Halfpenny (1/2) 40+2'
Pen: Halfpenny (4/5) 16', 28', 32', 51'