|2018–19 Heineken Champions Cup|
|Tournament format(s)||Round-robin and knockout|
|Date||12 October 2018 – 11 May 2019|
|Attendance||1,020,286 (15,228 per match)|
|Highest Attendance||51,930 - Saracens v Leinster (Final)|
(11 May 2019)
|Lowest Attendance||6,383 - Newcastle v Montpellier|
(21 October 2018)
|Tries scored||376 (5.61 per match)|
|Top point scorer(s)|| Owen Farrell (Saracens)|
|Top try scorer(s)|| Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)|
Sean Cronin (Leinster)
6 tries each
|Venue||St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Champions||Saracens (3rd title)|
The 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup (known as the Heineken Champions Cup for sponsorship reasons) 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.
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.
The distribution of teams is:
The following teams qualified for the 2018–19 tournament.
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.
Director of Rugby
|Captain||Stadium||Capacity||Method of qualification|
|Bath||Todd Blackadder||Matt Garvey||Recreation Ground||14,500||English Premiership top 6 (6th)|
|Cardiff Blues||John Mulvihill||Ellis Jenkins||Cardiff Arms Park||12,125||Pro14 top three in Conference (4A)[a]|
|Castres||Christophe Urios||Rodrigo Capó Ortega||Stade Pierre-Fabre||12,500||Top 14 top 6 (6th) (CH)|
|Edinburgh||Richard Cockerill||Stuart McInally||Murrayfield Stadium||67,144||Pro14 top three in Conference (3B) (QF)|
|Exeter Chiefs||Rob Baxter||Jack Yeandle||Sandy Park||12,800||English Premiership top 6 (1st) (RU)|
|Glasgow Warriors||Dave Rennie||Callum Gibbins||Scotstoun Stadium||7,351||Pro14 top three in Conference (1A) (SF)|
|Gloucester||David Humphreys||Willi Heinz||Kingsholm Stadium||16,115||European Rugby Challenge Cup runners-up [b]|
|Leicester Tigers||Geordan Murphy||Tom Youngs||Welford Road||25,849||English Premiership top 6 (5th)|
|Leinster||Leo Cullen||Jonathan Sexton||RDS Arena
|Pro14 top three in Conference (1B) (CH)|
|Lyon||Pierre Mignoni||Julien Puricelli||Stade de Gerland||25,000||Top 14 top 6 (5th) (SF)|
|Montpellier||Vern Cotter||Fulgence Ouedraogo||Altrad Stadium||15,697||Top 14 top 6 (1st) (RU)|
|Munster||Johann van Graan||Peter O'Mahony||Thomond Park||25,600[c]||Pro14 top three in Conference (2A) (SF)|
|Newcastle Falcons||Dean Richards||Will Welch||Kingston Park||10,200||English Premiership top 6 (4th) (SF)|
|Racing 92|| Laurent Labit
|Dimitri Szarzewski||Paris La Défense Arena||30,681||Top 14 top 6 (2nd) (SF)|
|Saracens||Mark McCall||Brad Barritt||Allianz Park||10,000[d]||English Premiership top 6 (2nd) (CH)|
|Scarlets||Wayne Pivac||Ken Owens||Parc y Scarlets||14,870||Pro14 top three in Conference (2B) (RU)|
|Toulon||Patrice Collazo||Mathieu Bastareaud||Stade Mayol||18,200||Top 14 top 6 (4th) (QF)|
|Toulouse|| Ugo Mola
|Julien Marchand||Stade Ernest-Wallon||19,500||Top 14 top 6 (3rd) (SF)|
|Ulster||Dan McFarland||Rory Best||Ravenhill Stadium||18,196||Pro14 7th place play off winner [e]|
|Wasps||Dai Young||Joe Launchbury||Ricoh Arena||32,609||English Premiership top 6 (3rd) (SF)|
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.
|3||Racing 92||Wasps||Glasgow Warriors|
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||Saracens (1 Prem)||Leinster (1 Pro14)||Castres (1 Top 14)||Scarlets (2 Pro14)||Montpellier (2 Top 14)|
|Tier 2||Exeter Chiefs (2 Prem)||Wasps (3 Prem)||Glasgow Warriors (3 Pro14)||Racing 92 (3 Top 14)||Newcastle Falcons (4 Prem)|
|Tier 3||Munster (4 Pro14)||Lyon (4 Top 14)||Leicester Tigers (5 Prem)||Edinburgh (5 Pro14)||Toulouse (5 Top 14)|
|Tier 4||Bath (6 Prem)||Cardiff Blues (6 Pro14)||Toulon (6 Top 14)||Ulster (Play-off Pro14)||Gloucester (CC)|
The following restrictions will apply to the draw:
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.
In the event of a tie between two or more teams, the following tie-breakers are used, as directed by EPCR:
|Winner of each pool, advance to quarter-finals.|
|Three second-place teams with the highest number of points advance to quarter-finals.|
|Glasgow Warriors (8)||6||4||0||2||147||119||28||19||16||3||0||19|
|Racing 92 (2)||6||5||0||1||196||121||75||26||15||5||1||26|
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. 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.
The winners of the semi-finals contested the final, at St James' Park, on 11 May 2019.
|Edinburgh (4)||13–17||(5) 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'
|Saracens (1)||56–27||(8) 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'
|Leinster (3)||21–18||(6) 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'
|Racing 92 (2)||21–22||(7) 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'
|Saracens (1)||32–16||(5) 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'
|Leinster (3)||30–12||(7) 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'
|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'
52–3 Leinster at home to Wasps on 12 October 2018
41–15 Munster away to Gloucester on 11 January 2019
56–27 Saracens at home to Glasgow Warriors on 30 March 2019
Leinster at home to Wasps on 12 October 2018
Leinster at home to Wasps on 12 October 2018
Saracens at home to Munster on 20 April 2019
Castres at home to Exeter Chiefs on 20 October 2018
Joey Carbery for Munster at away to Gloucester on 11 January 2019
Alex Lozowski for Saracens at home to Glasgow Warriors on 30 March 2019
Owen Farrell for Saracens at home to Munster on 20 April 2019
Saracens versus Leinster on 11 May 2019 (Final)
Newcastle Falcons at home to Montpellier on 21 October 2018
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