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2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup

2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
 France
 Ireland
 Italy
 Scotland
 Wales
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and Knockout
Date17 October 2014 – 2 May 2015
Tournament statistics
Teams20
Matches played67
Attendance985,717 (14,712 per match)
Tries scored287 (4.28 per match)
Top point scorer(s)Ian Madigan (Leinster)
(113 points)
Top try scorer(s)George North (Northampton Saints)
(7 tries)
Final
VenueTwickenham Stadium, London
ChampionsFrance Toulon (3rd title)
Runners-upFrance Clermont
← 2013–14 (Previous)
(Next) 2015–16 →

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.[1] 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.[2][3]

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.

Teams

20 clubs, from the three major European domestic leagues, will compete in the Champions Cup:[1]

  • England: 7 clubs
  • France: 6 clubs, based on performance in the Top 14.
  • Ireland, Italy, Scotland & Wales: 7 clubs, based on performance in the Pro12.
    • The best placed club from each nation (4 clubs)
    • The 3 highest ranked clubs not qualified thereafter (3 clubs)

The following clubs qualified for the competition:

Aviva Premiership Top 14 Pro 12
England England France France Ireland Ireland Italy Italy Scotland Scotland Wales Wales

20th Team play-off

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
England England France France
Wasps Stade Français

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.[4] The draw took place on 6 May 2014, in Heathrow. Following the draw, the fixtures were announced as follows:[5]

18 May 2014
15:00 BST
Wasps England 30–29 France Stade Français
24 May 2014
14:45 CEST
Stade Français France 6–20 England Wasps

Wasps won the play-off 50–35 on aggregate and qualified for the Champions Cup.

Team details

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.

Team Coach /
Director of Rugby
Captain Stadium Capacity Method of Qualification
England Bath England Mike Ford England Stuart Hooper Recreation Ground 14,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (5th)
Italy Benetton Treviso Italy Umberto Casellato Italy Antonio Pavanello Stadio Comunale di Monigo 6,700 Top Pro12 Italian team (11th)
France Castres Olympique France Serge Milhas France Rémi Talès Stade Pierre-Antoine 11,500 Top 14 top 6 (6th) (RU)
France Clermont France Franck Azéma France Damien Chouly Stade Marcel-Michelin 18,000 Top 14 top 6 (3rd) (QF)
Scotland Glasgow Warriors Scotland Gregor Townsend Scotland Alastair Kellock Scotstoun Stadium 9,708 Top Pro12 Scottish team (2nd) (RU)
England Harlequins Ireland Conor O'Shea England Joe Marler The Stoop 14,816 Aviva Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)
England Leicester Tigers England Richard Cockerill England Ed Slater Welford Road 24,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (3rd) (SF)
Ireland Leinster Australia Matt O'Connor Ireland Jamie Heaslip RDS Arena
Aviva Stadium
18,500
51,700
Top Pro12 Irish team (1st) (CH)
France Montpellier South Africa Jake White
(For France Fabien Galthié)[a]
France Fulgence Ouedraogo Altrad Stadium 14,700 Top 14 top 6 (2nd) (SF)
Ireland Munster Ireland Anthony Foley Ireland Peter O'Mahony Thomond Park 25,600 Pro12 top 7 (3rd) (SF)
England Northampton Saints England Jim Mallinder England Dylan Hartley Franklin's Gardens 13,600 Aviva Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)
Wales Ospreys Wales Steve Tandy Wales Alun Wyn Jones Liberty Stadium 20,532 Top Pro12 Welsh Team (5th)
France Racing Métro France Laurent Labit France Dimitri Szarzewski Stade Yves-du-Manoir 14,000 Top 14 top 6 (5th) (SF)
England Sale Sharks Scotland Bryan Redpath New Zealand Daniel Braid AJ Bell Stadium 12,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (6th)
England Saracens Ireland Mark McCall South Africa Alistair Hargreaves Allianz Park 10,000 Aviva Premiership top 6 (1st) (RU)
Wales Scarlets New Zealand Wayne Pivac Wales Ken Owens Parc y Scarlets 14,870 Pro12 top 7 (6th)
France Toulon France Bernard Laporte New Zealand Carl Hayman Stade Mayol 15,400 Top 14 top 6 (1st) (CH)
France Toulouse France Guy Novès France Thierry Dusautoir Stade Ernest-Wallon 19,500 Top 14 top 6 (4th) (SF)
Ireland Ulster Ireland Neil Doak Ireland Rory Best Kingspan Stadium 18,196 Pro12 top 7 (4th) (SF)
England Wasps Wales Dai Young England James Haskell Adams Park
Ricoh Arena[a 1]
10,516
32,609
7th Place play-off winner
  1. ^ Wasps moved their home ground to Ricoh Arena in Coventry,[7] and played their first match there on 21 December.[8]

Seeding

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.[9]

Rank Top 14 Premiership Pro 12
1 France Toulon England Saracens Ireland Leinster Rugby
2 France Castres Olympique England Northampton Saints Scotland Glasgow Warriors
3 France Montpellier England Leicester Tigers Ireland Munster
4 France Racing Métro England Harlequins Ireland Ulster
5 France Clermont England Bath Wales Ospreys
6 France Toulouse England Sale Sharks Wales Scarlets
7 England Wasps Italy Benetton Treviso

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 Ireland Leinster (1 Pro12) England Saracens (1 AP) France Toulon (1 Top 14) England Northampton Saints (2 AP) Scotland Glasgow Warriors (2 Pro12)
Tier 2 France Castres Olympique (2 Top 14) Ireland Munster (3 Pro12) England Leicester Tigers (3 AP) France Montpellier (3 Top 14) France Racing Métro (4 Top14)
Tier 3 England Harlequins (4 AP) Ireland Ulster (4 Pro12) Wales Ospreys (5 Pro12) England Bath (5 AP) France Clermont (5 Top 14)
Tier 4 Wales Scarlets (6 Pro12) England Sale Sharks (6 AP) France Toulouse (6 Top 14) England Wasps (Play-off) Italy Benetton Treviso (7 Pro12)

Pool stage

The draw took place on 10 June 2014, at the Stade de la Maladière in Neuchâtel.[10][11]

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.[12][2]

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.[13]

In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers were used, as directed by EPCR:

  1. Where teams have played each other
    1. The club with the greater number of competition points from only matches involving tied teams.
    2. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in those matches.
    3. If equal, the club with the best aggregate points difference from those matches.
  2. Where teams remain tied and/or have not played each other in the competition (i.e. are from different pools)
    1. The club with the best aggregate points difference from the pool stage.
    2. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in the pool stage.
    3. If equal, the club with the fewest players suspended in the pool stage.
    4. If equal, the drawing of lots will determine a club's ranking.
Key to colours
     Winner of each pool, advance to quarter-finals.
     Three highest-ranked second-place teams advance to quarter-finals.

Pool 1

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Clermont (3) 6 5 0 1 140 80 +60 14 6 1 1 22
England Saracens (8) 6 4 0 2 119 95 +24 12 10 1 0 17
Ireland Munster 6 3 0 3 144 114 +30 15 11 1 2 15
England Sale Sharks 6 0 0 6 82 196 −114 8 22 0 2 2

Pool 2

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Ireland Leinster (4) 6 4 1 1 148 101 +47 13 9 1 1 20
England Wasps (7) 6 3 1 2 155 105 +50 18 12 2 2 18
England Harlequins 6 4 0 2 135 99 +36 13 7 1 1 18
France Castres Olympique 6 0 0 6 86 219 −133 10 26 0 1 1

Pool 3

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Toulon (2) 6 5 0 1 181 89 +92 19 9 1 1 22
England Leicester Tigers 6 3 0 3 108 126 −18 12 15 1 0 13
Ireland Ulster 6 2 0 4 116 146 −30 16 15 3 1 12
Wales Scarlets 6 2 0 4 90 134 −44 8 16 0 0 8

Pool 4

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
England Bath (5) 6 4 0 2 146 108 +38 15 15 2 1 19
France Toulouse 6 4 0 2 126 124 +2 11 10 0 1 17
Scotland Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 108 84 +24 11 6 1 2 15
France Montpellier 6 1 0 5 90 154 −64 9 15 0 2 6

Pool 5

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Racing Métro (1) 6 5 1 0 168 69 +99 20 7 2 0 24
England Northampton Saints (6) 6 4 0 2 178 82 +96 25 8 3 0 19
Wales Ospreys 6 1 1 4 110 121 −11 11 13 1 2 8
Italy Benetton Treviso 6 1 0 5 62 246 −184 8 36 0 0 4

Seeding and runners-up

Seed Pool Winners Pts TF +/−
1 France Racing Métro 24 20 +99
2 France Toulon 22 19 +92
3 France Clermont 22 14 +60
4 Ireland Leinster 20 13 +47
5 England Bath 19 15 +38
Seed Pool Runners–up Pts TF +/−
6 England Northampton Saints 19 25 +96
7 England Wasps 18 18 +50
8 England Saracens 17 12 +24
9 France Toulouse 17 11 +2
10 England Leicester 13 15 -18

Knock-out stage

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.

The winners of the semi-finals will contest the final, at Twickenham Stadium, on 2 May 2015.[3]

Quarter-finals

4 April 2015
15:15
Leinster Ireland 18–15 England Bath
Pen: Madigan (6/6) 13', 24', 27', 34', 38', 52'
Report[14] Try: Ford 20' m
Hooper 46' c
Con: Ford (1/2) 47'
Pen: Ford (1/2) 73'
Aviva Stadium
Attendance: 43,958
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (FFR)
4 April 2015
18:45
Clermont France 37–5 England Northampton Saints
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[15] Try: Waller 66' m
Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin
Attendance: 17,730
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
5 April 2015
13:45
Racing Métro France 11–12 England Saracens
Try: Machenaud 26' m
Pen: Machenaud (2/2) 60', 70'
Report[16] Pen: Hodgson (2/4) 5', 40'
Goode (1/1) 47'
Bosch (1/1) 80+1'
Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Attendance: 12,113
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
5 April 2015
16:15
Toulon France 32–18 England Wasps
Try: Bastareaud 7' c
Williams 76' c
Con: Michalak (2/2) 7', 77'
Pen: Michalak (6/6) 16', 22', 27', 35', 38', 68'
Report[17] Try: Helu (2) 53' c, 72' m
Con: Goode (1/2) 54'
Pen: Lozowski (2/2) 12', 25'
Stade Mayol
Attendance: 15,228
Referee: George Clancy (IRFU)

Semi-finals

18 April 2015
16:15
Clermont France 13–9 England Saracens
Try: Fofana 43'c
Con: James (1/1) 44'
Pen: James (2/2) 25', 72'
Report[18] Pen: Hodgson (1/1) 36'
Farrell (1/1) 65'
Drop: Hodgson (1/1) 14'
19 April 2015
16:15
Toulon France 25–20
(A.E.T.)
Ireland Leinster
Try: Habana 90' c
Con: Halfpenny (1/1) 91'
Pen: Halfpenny (6/7) 5', 29', 55', 67', 83', 89'
Report[19] Try: O'Brien 94' m
Pen: Madigan (5/6) 8', 16', 20', 69', 85'
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Attendance: 35,116
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

Final

2 May 2015
17:00 BST (UTC+01)
Clermont France 18–24 France Toulon
Try: Fofana 24' m
Abendanon 62' c
Con: Lopez (1/2) 62'
Pen: Lopez (2/2) 7', 12'
Report[20] Try: Bastareaud 40' c
Mitchell 69' m
Con: Halfpenny (1/2) 40+2'
Pen: Halfpenny (4/5) 16', 28', 32', 51'
Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance: 56,622
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Fabien Galthié began the tournament as Montpellier head coach, but was removed from his post on 30 December 2014, and replaced by Jake White.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b "Future of European Rugby resolved" (Press release). Rugby Football Union. 10 April 2014. Archived from the original on 25 May 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "EPCRugby.com – 10 things you may not know about EPCR". epcrugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b Inaugural EPCR finals set for London Archived 2014-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Rugby Union – Anglo-French play-off dates announced, AFP 29/5/2014". afp.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-30. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  5. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup play-off draw, Premiership Rugby". premiershiprugby.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Montpellier unveil White as new boss" [Montpellier unveil White as new boss]. Planet Rugby. Planet Rugby. 30 December 2014. Archived from the original on 5 January 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Wasps in Coventry: Ricoh move to be completed by December". BBC Sport. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Wasps confirm opening Ricoh Arena fixture". BBC Sport. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  9. ^ [archive.ercrugby.com] Archived 2014-08-13 at the Wayback Machine ERCRugby.com. Accessed 8 June 2014
  10. ^ "Irish Times – Rugby's European Champions Cup draw to place on June 10th. Accessed 31/5/14". irishtimes.com. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Munster and Ulster handed daunting pools in first-ever Rugby Champions Cup". The Score. 10 June 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  12. ^ EPCRugby.com – 2014/15 EPCR Pool Draws Archived 2014-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Champions Cup Rules". www.epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  14. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-16. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  15. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  16. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  17. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  18. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  19. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  20. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup (EPCR)". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 14 September 2017.