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2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup

2018–19 Heineken Champions Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
 France
 Ireland
 Scotland
 Wales
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and knockout
Date12 October 2018 – 11 May 2019
Tournament statistics
Teams20
Matches played67
Attendance1,020,286 (15,228 per match)
Highest Attendance51,930 - Saracens v Leinster (Final)
(11 May 2019)
Lowest Attendance6,383 - Newcastle v Montpellier
(21 October 2018)
Tries scored376 (5.61 per match)
Top point scorer(s)England Owen Farrell (Saracens)
89 points
Top try scorer(s)Ireland Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)
Ireland Sean Cronin (Leinster)
6 tries each
Final
VenueSt James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Attendance51,930
ChampionsEngland Saracens (3rd title)
Runners-upIreland Leinster
← 2017–18 (Previous)
(Next) 2019–20 →

The 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup (known as the Heineken Champions Cup for sponsorship reasons)[1] is the fifth season of the European Rugby Champions Cup, the annual club rugby union competition run by European Professional Club Rugby (ECPR) for teams from the top six nations in Europe. It is the 24th season of pan-European professional club rugby competition. This competition is the first to be sponsored by Heineken since the 2013–14 season.

The tournament started on 12 October 2018. The final, featuring the last two winners of the event, Saracens and Leinster, took place on 11 May 2019 at St James' Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with Saracens being crowned champions for the third time.

Teams

Twenty clubs from the three major European domestic and regional leagues competed in the Champions Cup. Nineteen of these qualified directly as a result of their league performance.

In a change to previous seasons, the play-off to decide the 20th team was not held.[2] The final place in the Champions Cup is now directly awarded in the following order:[3]

  1. Champions Cup winner, if not already qualified
  2. Challenge Cup winner, if not already qualified
  3. Challenge Cup losing finalist, if not already qualified
  4. Challenge Cup semi-finalist, if not already qualified, or the winner of a play-off between both semi-finalists, if both have not already qualified
  5. Highest ranked non-qualified club by virtue of league position from the same league as the Champions Cup winner

The distribution of teams is:

  • England: 7 clubs
  • France: 6 clubs
    • The top 6 clubs in the Top 14. (6 clubs)
  • Ireland, Scotland & Wales: 7 clubs, based on performance in the Pro14.
    • Following the inclusion of 2 South African teams into the Pro14, the tournament format and qualification process was changed.
    • The top 3 sides in each Pro14 conference (not including the South African sides, who are not eligible for European competition), automatically qualify for the Champions Cup. The previous requirement for each country (Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales) to be represented was waived beginning with this season.[2] (6 Teams)
    • The next best placed eligible team in each conference compete in a one-off play-off game to determine the 7th Pro14 team. (1 Team)

The following teams qualified for the 2018–19 tournament.

Premiership Top 14 Pro14
England England France France Ireland Ireland Scotland Scotland Wales Wales

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, QF for losing Quarter-finalist, and PO for the Pro14 7th place play-off winner.

Team Coach /
Director of Rugby
Captain Stadium Capacity Method of qualification
England Bath New Zealand Todd Blackadder England Matt Garvey Recreation Ground 14,500 English Premiership top 6 (6th)
Wales Cardiff Blues Australia John Mulvihill Wales Ellis Jenkins Cardiff Arms Park 12,125 Pro14 top three in Conference (4A)[a]
France Castres France Christophe Urios Uruguay Rodrigo Capó Ortega Stade Pierre-Fabre 12,500 Top 14 top 6 (6th) (CH)
Scotland Edinburgh England Richard Cockerill Scotland Stuart McInally Murrayfield Stadium 67,144 Pro14 top three in Conference (3B) (QF)
England Exeter Chiefs England Rob Baxter England Jack Yeandle Sandy Park 12,800 English Premiership top 6 (1st) (RU)
Scotland Glasgow Warriors New Zealand Dave Rennie New Zealand Callum Gibbins Scotstoun Stadium 7,351 Pro14 top three in Conference (1A) (SF)
England Gloucester Ireland David Humphreys New Zealand Willi Heinz Kingsholm Stadium 16,115 European Rugby Challenge Cup runners-up [b]
England Leicester Tigers Ireland Geordan Murphy England Tom Youngs Welford Road 25,849 English Premiership top 6 (5th)
Ireland Leinster Ireland Leo Cullen Ireland Jonathan Sexton RDS Arena
Aviva Stadium
18,500
51,700
Pro14 top three in Conference (1B) (CH)
France Lyon France Pierre Mignoni France Julien Puricelli Stade de Gerland 25,000 Top 14 top 6 (5th) (SF)
France Montpellier New Zealand Vern Cotter France Fulgence Ouedraogo Altrad Stadium 15,697 Top 14 top 6 (1st) (RU)
Ireland Munster South Africa Johann van Graan Ireland Peter O'Mahony Thomond Park 25,600[c] Pro14 top three in Conference (2A) (SF)
England Newcastle Falcons England Dean Richards England Will Welch Kingston Park 10,200 English Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)
France Racing 92 France Laurent Labit
France Laurent Travers
France Dimitri Szarzewski Paris La Défense Arena 30,681 Top 14 top 6 (2nd) (SF)
England Saracens Ireland Mark McCall England Brad Barritt Allianz Park 10,000[d] English Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)
Wales Scarlets New Zealand Wayne Pivac Wales Ken Owens Parc y Scarlets 14,870 Pro14 top three in Conference (2B) (RU)
France Toulon France Patrice Collazo France Mathieu Bastareaud Stade Mayol 18,200 Top 14 top 6 (4th) (QF)
France Toulouse France Ugo Mola
France Régis Sonnes
France Julien Marchand Stade Ernest-Wallon 19,500 Top 14 top 6 (3rd) (SF)
Ireland Ulster England Dan McFarland Ireland Rory Best Ravenhill Stadium 18,196 Pro14 7th place play off winner [e]
England Wasps Wales Dai Young England Joe Launchbury Ricoh Arena 32,609 English Premiership top 6 (3rd) (SF)

Seeding

The twenty competing teams are seeded and split into four tiers, each containing five teams.

For the purpose of creating the tiers, clubs are ranked based on their domestic league performances and on their qualification for the knockout phases of their championships. For example, a losing quarter-finalist would be seeded below a losing semi-finalist, even if they finished above them in the regular season.[5]

Rank Top 14 Premiership Pro14
1 France Castres England Saracens Ireland Leinster
2 France Montpellier England Exeter Chiefs Wales Scarlets
3 France Racing 92 England Wasps Scotland Glasgow Warriors
4 France Lyon England Newcastle Falcons Ireland Munster
5 France Toulouse England Leicester Tigers Scotland Edinburgh
6 France Toulon England Bath Wales Cardiff Blues
7 England Gloucester Ireland Ulster

Based on these seedings, teams are placed into one of the four tiers, with the top seed clubs being put in Tier 1. The nature of the tier system means that a draw is needed to allocate two of the three second seed clubs to Tier 1 and to allocate one of the three fourth seed clubs to Tier 2. The tiers are shown below. 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 England Saracens (1 Prem) Ireland Leinster (1 Pro14) France Castres (1 Top 14) Wales Scarlets (2 Pro14) France Montpellier (2 Top 14)
Tier 2 England Exeter Chiefs (2 Prem) England Wasps (3 Prem) Scotland Glasgow Warriors (3 Pro14) France Racing 92 (3 Top 14) England Newcastle Falcons (4 Prem)
Tier 3 Ireland Munster (4 Pro14) France Lyon (4 Top 14) England Leicester Tigers (5 Prem) Scotland Edinburgh (5 Pro14) France Toulouse (5 Top 14)
Tier 4 England Bath (6 Prem) Wales Cardiff Blues (6 Pro14) France Toulon (6 Top 14) Ireland Ulster (Play-off Pro14) England Gloucester (CC)

The following restrictions will apply to the draw:

  • Each pool will consist of four clubs, one from each Tier in the draw.
  • Each pool must have one from each league drawn from Tier 1, 2, or 3. No pool will have a second team from the same league until the allocation of Tier 4 takes place.
  • Where two Pro14 clubs compete in the same pool, they must be from different countries.

Pool stage

[[File:|1300px|alt=Locations of teams of the 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup group stage.
Brown pog.svg Brown: Pool 1; Red pog.svg Red: Pool 2; Orange pog.svg Orange: Pool 3; Yellow pog.svg Yellow: Pool 4; Blue pog.svg Blue: Pool 5.]]
Locations of teams of the 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup group stage.
Brown pog.svg Brown: Pool 1; Red pog.svg Red: Pool 2; Orange pog.svg Orange: Pool 3; Yellow pog.svg Yellow: Pool 4; Blue pog.svg Blue: Pool 5.

The draw took place on 20 June 2018, in Lausanne, Switzerland.[6]

Teams in the same pool play each other twice, at home and away, in the group stage that begins on the weekend of 12–14 October 2018, and continues through to 18–20 January 2019. The five pool winners and three best runners-up progress to the quarter finals.

Teams are awarded group points based on match performances. Four points are awarded for a win, two points for a draw, one attacking bonus point for scoring four or more tries in a match and one defensive bonus point for losing a match by seven points or fewer.[7]

In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers are 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 with the best aggregate points difference from those matches.
    3. If equal, the club that scored the most tries in 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 second-place teams with the highest number of points advance to quarter-finals.

Pool 1

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Ireland Leinster (3) 6 5 0 1 204 88 116 27 10 4 1 25
France Toulouse (7) 6 5 0 1 149 136 13 16 15 1 0 21
England Bath 6 1 1 4 115 152 –37 14 19 1 3 10
England Wasps 6 0 1 5 134 190 –92 13 26 1 1 4

[8]

Pool 2

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Ireland Munster (5) 6 4 1 1 138 72 66 14 9 2 1 21
England Exeter Chiefs 6 2 1 3 124 104 20 18 11 2 2 14
France Castres 6 3 0 3 97 142 –45 11 16 1 1 14
England Gloucester 6 2 0 4 122 163 –41 15 22 0 0 9

[9]

Pool 3

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
England Saracens (1) 6 6 0 0 185 81 104 23 10 4 0 28
Scotland Glasgow Warriors (8) 6 4 0 2 147 119 28 19 16 3 0 19
Wales Cardiff Blues 6 2 0 4 138 174 –36 19 22 2 0 10
France Lyon 6 0 0 6 87 183 –96 10 23 0 0 0

[10]

Pool 4

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France Racing 92 (2) 6 5 0 1 196 121 75 26 15 5 1 26
Ireland Ulster (6) 6 5 0 1 131 128 3 18 16 2 0 22
Wales Scarlets 6 1 0 5 145 170 –25 18 23 1 2 7
England Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 115 168 –53 14 22 2 1 7

[11]

Pool 5

Team
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Scotland Edinburgh (4) 6 5 0 1 154 83 71 16 11 2 1 23
France Montpellier 6 3 0 3 158 116 42 21 11 3 1 16
France Toulon 6 2 0 4 134 180 –46 16 21 1 1 10
England Newcastle Falcons 6 2 0 4 102 169 –67 10 20 0 1 9

[12]

Ranking of pool leaders and runners-up

Rank Pool leaders Pts Diff TF
1 England Saracens 28 104 23
2 France Racing 92 26 75 26
3 Ireland Leinster 25 116 27
4 Scotland Edinburgh 23 71 16
5 Ireland Munster 21 66 14
Rank Pool runners–up Pts Diff TF
6 Ireland Ulster 22 3 18
7 France Toulouse 21 13 16
8 Scotland Glasgow Warriors 19 28 19
9 France Montpellier 16 42 21
10 England Exeter Chiefs 14 20 18

Knock-out stage

Format

The eight qualifiers are ranked according to their performance in the pool stage and compete in the quarter-finals which will be held on the weekend of 28–31 March 2019. The four top teams will host the quarter-finals against the four lower teams in a 1v8, 2v7, 3v6 and 4v5 format.

The semi-finals were played on the weekend of 19–21 April 2019. As in recent seasons, a fixed semi-final bracket was set in advance. Beginning this season, the higher-seeded team received home country/venue advantage for each semi-final, regardless of whether they won their quarter-final at home or on the road.[13] Also new for this season was the EPRC's use of discretion to allow semi-finals to be played at a qualified club's home venue[14].

The winners of the semi-finals contested the final, at St James' Park, on 11 May 2019.

Bracket

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
         
1 England Saracens 56
8 Scotland Glasgow Warriors 27
1 England Saracens 32
5 Ireland Munster 16
4 Scotland Edinburgh 13
5 Ireland Munster 17
1 England Saracens 20
3 Ireland Leinster 10
3 Ireland Leinster 21
6 Ireland Ulster 18
3 Ireland Leinster 30
7 France Toulouse 12
2 France Racing 92 21
7 France Toulouse 22

Quarter-finals

30 March 2019
12:45 GMT UTC+0
Edinburgh Scotland (4) 13–17 (5) Ireland Munster
Try: Dean 26' c
Con: Van der Walt (1/1) 27'
Pen: Van der Walt (2/2) 35', 50'
Report Try: Earls (2) 18' c, 70' c
Con: Carbery (1/1) 19'
Bleyendaal (1/1) 71'
Pen: Bleyendaal (1/1) 46'
Murrayfield Stadium
Attendance: 36,358
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (FFR)
30 March 2019
15:15 GMT UTC+0
Saracens England (1) 56–27 (8) Scotland Glasgow Warriors
Try: Williams (2) 4' c, 48' c
Strettle (2) 25' m, 56' c
Barritt 29' c
George 62' c
Tompkins 70' c
Con: Lozowski (6/7) 5', 30', 49', 57', 63', 71'
Pen: Lozowski (3/3) 14', 42', 54'
Report Try: Price 1' c
G. Horne 66' c
M. Fagerson 80' c
Con: Hastings (3/3) 2', 67', 80'+2
Pen: Hastings (2/2) 32', 37'
Allianz Park
Attendance: 10,997
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
30 March 2019
17:45 GMT UTC+0
Leinster Ireland (3) 21–18 (6) Ireland Ulster
Try: R. Byrne 10' m
A. Byrne 53' c
Con: R. Byrne (1/2) 54'
Pen: R. Byrne (3/4) 30', 34', 71'
Report Try: Treadwell 5' c
Marshall 63' m
Con: Cooney (1/2) 6'
Pen: Cooney (2/2) 21', 38'
Aviva Stadium
Attendance: 51,700
Referee: Romain Poite (FFR)
31 March 2019
16:15 CEST UTC+2
Racing 92 France (2) 21–22 (7) France Toulouse
Try: Thomas 18' c
Chat 73' m
Con: Machenaud (1/2) 19'
Pen: Machenaud (3/4) 13', 48', 54'
Report Try: Dupont (2) 6' c, 35' c
Médard 30' m
Con: Holmes (1/1) 7'
Ntamack (1/2) 36'
Pen: Ramos (1/1) 67'
Paris La Défense Arena
Attendance: 26,092
Referee: Luke Pearce (RFU)

Semi-finals

20 April 2019
15:15 BST UTC+1
Saracens England (1) 32–16 (5) Ireland Munster
Try: Rhodes 42' c
B. Vunipola 72' c
Con: Farrell (2/2) 43', 73'
Pen: Farrell (6/7) 1', 17', 26', 40' , 47', 53'
Report Try: Sweetnam 60' c
Con: Hanrahan (1/1) 62' c
Pen: Bleyendaal (2/2) 9', 30'
Murray (1/1) 36'
Ricoh Arena[15]
Attendance: 16,235
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
21 April 2019
15:15 IST UTC+1
Leinster Ireland (3) 30–12 (7) France Toulouse
Try: Lowe 13' c
McGrath 25' c
Fardy 52' c
Con: Sexton (3/3) 14', 27', 54'
Pen: Sexton (2/2) 10', 65'
R. Byrne (1/1) 77'
Report Pen: Thomas Ramos (3/3) 5', 30', 44'
Ntamack (1/1) 59'
Aviva Stadium[15]
Attendance: 42,916
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

Final

11 May 2019
17:00 BST UTC+1
Saracens England (1) 20–10 Ireland Leinster
Try: Maitland 40'+2 c
B. Vunipola 66' c
Con: Farrell (2/2) 40'+4, 67'
Pen: Farrell (2/2) 38', 58'
Report Try: Furlong 31' c
Con: Sexton (1/1) 33'
Pen: Sexton (1/1) 3'
St James' Park, Newcastle
Attendance: 51,930
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (FFR)

Attendances

  • Does not include the attendance at the final as it takes place at a neutral venue.
Club Home
Games
Total Average Highest Lowest % Capacity
England Bath 3 40,020 13,340 14,429 12,284 92%
Wales Cardiff Blues 3 28,207 9,402 12,018 6,692 78%
France Castres 3 28,394 9,465 9,746 9,048 76%
Scotland Edinburgh 4 62,019 15,505 36,358 6,803 23%
England Exeter Chiefs 3 36,311 12,104 12,749 11,762 95%
Scotland Glasgow Warriors 3 22,053 7,351 7,351 7,351 100%
England Gloucester 3 37,398 12,466 15,500 9,993 77%
England Leicester Tigers 3 58,887 19,629 20,146 18,832 76%
Ireland Leinster 5 171,425 34,285 51,700 18,055 92%
France Lyon 3 37,895 12,632 13,031 12,197 51%
France Montpellier 3 26,173 8,724 10,450 7,800 56%
Ireland Munster 3 71,205 23,735 26,276 21,861 92%
England Newcastle Falcons 3 20,251 6,750 7,174 6,383 66%
France Racing 92 4 70,216 17,554 26,092 13,168 57%
England Saracens[f] 5 55,760 11,152 16,235 8,528 82%
Wales Scarlets 3 23,572 7,857 8,087 7,421 53%
France Toulon 3 38,107 12,702 13,572 11,439 70%
France Toulouse 3 53,343 17,781 18,754 16,737 91%
Ireland Ulster 3 42,118 14,039 16,842 12,124 77%
England Wasps 3 44,822 14,941 16,002 13,599 46%

[16]

Player scoring

  • Appearance figures also include coming on as substitutes (unused substitutes not included).

Season records

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Cardiff qualified as Third in Conference A of the Pro14, the Cheetahs, were ineligible for European Rugby Competitions.
  2. ^ Gloucester qualified as Challenge Cup winners Cardiff qualified via the Pro14.
  3. ^ Thomond Park's official capacity is 25,600 but can be expanded up to 26,276 with temporary seating.
  4. ^ Allianz Park typically has a capacity of 10,000 but this can be raised to 15,000 with temporary seating.
  5. ^ Ulster, as 4th eligible team in Conference B, beat the 4th eligible team in Conference A, the Ospreys, for the 7th qualification position from the Pro14.
  6. ^ Saracens attendance figures include semi-final 'home game' played at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

References

  1. ^ "Heineken® Returns as Headline Sponsor of European Rugby Champions Cup". Heineken. 4 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b [www.epcrugby.com]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-26. Retrieved 2018-05-11. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ the winner of both European competitions from last year, Leinster and Cardiff Blues having already qualified through a top 6 finish in the Pro14
  5. ^ [archive.ercrugby.com] Archived 2014-08-13 at the Wayback Machine ERCRugby.com. Accessed 8 June 2014
  6. ^ "2018/19 Pool Draws produce top-quality fixtures". epcrugby.com. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Champions Cup Rules". epcrugby.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2017-06-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Heineken Champions Cup semi-finals". EPCR. 19 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Heineken Champions Cup semi-final venues". EPCR. 13 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Heineken Champions Cup semi-final details". EPCR. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  16. ^ a b "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Home attendance". Rugby Statbunker. 21 April 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Player Statistics". EPCR. 11 May 2019.
  18. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most points in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 11 May 2019.
  19. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most tries in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 11 May 2019.
  20. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most conversions in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 11 May 2019.
  21. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most penalties in a match (Team)". Rugby Statbunker. 11 May 2019.
  22. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most points in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 11 May 2019.
  23. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most tries in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 11 May 2019.
  24. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most conversions in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 11 May 2019.
  25. ^ "European Rugby Champions Cup 18/19 Most penalties in a match (Player)". Rugby Statbunker. 11 May 2019.