European Rugby Champions Cup 2014/2015 pool draw

ERCCJoin our live blog from midday to keep up to date with the draw for the 2014/2015 Rugby Champions Cup. Scroll to the bottom of the page from midday and hit refresh to see the teams enter their pools as they are drawn.

How will it work?

The 20 clubs are split into five pools, with four teams in each pool. With the aim of ensuring fair pools, the teams have been split into four tiers of five teams. The Premiership sides have been ranked by where they finished in the regular season, while the Top 14 and RaboDirect PRO12 rankings take knockout games into account too – so, as losing finalists, Castres are the second seeds rather than Montpellier, who finished the regular season in second. The full rankings are below:

RankPremiershipTop 14PRO12
2Northampton SaintsCastresGlasgow
3Leicester TigersMontpellierMunster
4HarlequinsRacing MétroUlster
5BathClermont AuvergneOspreys
6Sale SharksToulouseScarlets
7London WaspsTreviso

Saracens, Toulon and Leinster are definitely in tier one, as are two of Northampton, Castres or Glasgow (a separate draw will take place beforehand to decide this). Tier two contains one of the previous three not in tier one, plus Munster, Leicester and Montpellier, as well as one of fourth-ranking clubs. Tier three contains the other three fourth-ranking clubs, along with Ospreys, Bath and Clermont. Tier four contains the Scarlets, Sale, Toulouse, Wasps and Treviso.

There will be no more than two clubs from each league in a pool, while no pool will contain two PRO12 clubs from the same country. Clubs from the same league will be kept apart until the allocation of Tier 4 clubs.

Got all of that? Stay tuned below for the draw, live from midday.

First up it’s the Challenge Cup draw, which you can follow here:

Pool 1
Munster Rugby
Clermont Auvergne
Sale Sharks

Pool 2
Leinster Rugby
London Wasps

Pool 3
Leicester Tigers
Ulster Rugby

Pool 4
Glasgow Warriors
Bath Rugby

Pool 5
Northampton Saints
Racing Métro

33 thoughts on “European Rugby Champions Cup 2014/2015 pool draw

    1. Conspiracy theory alert!

      The Saracens logo apparently links the crusades, when the term was used to describe the Arabs – hence the Islamic overtones to it.

  1. You’re right Jamie – and the leader of the Saracens was Saladin. Unbelievably, if you take the the first two letters of the forwards coach surname (Alex SAnderson), the last letter of the Director of Rugby’s surname (Mark McCalL), the first two letter sof the kicking coach’s Christian name BACKWARDS (DAn Vickers) and the middle letters REVERSED of the two squad “Brothers” (VuNIpola” you get …. SALADIN. Conspiracy theory proved.

  2. Absolutely delighted with Saints’ group! We’ve been given a tough draw the last few years so it’s nice to have some optimism of qualifying for the last eight!

    1. That’s why we hate the English!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You talk about last 8 without even playing one game. Good luck to the Welsh, French and Italians. You wonder why the Welsh support every other country apart from you

  3. Given Clermont’s recent travails and Cotter’s departure, I am drawn to Pool 3 as the “Group of Death”!

    All pretty tasty, mind.

  4. wow! these groups look great and really tough! Cant wait, thank god they sorted out all the differences to deliver this schedule. the last day will be mind boggling with all the permutations and possible combinations. the SKY desk will earn its crust that day. Great competition ahead!

  5. Pool 3 looks brutal.

    Quite happy as a Wasps fan. Considering we were ranked so low, things could have been worse. Optimistic that we can put on a good show for ourselves. Not suggesting we have enough to get to the knock out stages mind you.

    Early for predictions but, to qualify I’d go:
    Saracens, Leinster, Toulon, Glasgow, Saints, Racing Metro, Toulouse

    1. That’s 7 Jacob – one missing or am I missing something? That’s a genuine question – how do we go from 5 groups to 8 quarter finalists?

      1. Ah you are right! I took the group winners and the next two runners up! Seems I’m still in Heineken Cup mode!

        I assume there will be a third runner up then? I’ll throw Munster in there as well!

        1. Yes its Group winners, Plus Top Three second places in Playoffs.
          the Top 4 winners get homefield advantage, so one group winner will play away to a second place finisher.

          1. That doesn’t sound right Brian. Surely the 5th best Group Winner plays away to the 4th Best Winner?

            1. Cheers Blub, you could be right. I thought it was 5th winner against top 2nd team/runner up but not sure on that one. Some great games either way. B

  6. Some seriously heavyweight clashes ahead, it’s going to be great. Thank god they sorted it out eventually.
    Northampton won big, not only did they get drawn into that top tier and so avoided the likes of Toulon etc, but then also got drawn with probably the weakest French side (in Europe this year at least), a Welsh side and the compulsory Italian side.

    1. Although the BBC headline is ‘Saracens and Saints get tough draw’. Saracens yes, Saints no.. all three of Racing, Ospreys and Treviso came bottom of their Heineken cup groups this year.

  7. I bet Saints are pleased they didn’t seeded!

    Wow this is knock out rugby straight away for those groups who don’t have Italian or Scottish teams

  8. Does anyone know how the knockouts are going to work? Is it just the five group winners and thee best runners up, or what? Are there going to be any teams dropping down into the Challenge Cup?

  9. Any idea when the actual fixtures are being announced? It’s usually been sometime this week for the Heineken Cup in previous years.

    1. European Club Rugby – Anglo/French rugby held others to ransom and through their financial greed brought about the demise of well organised The Heineken & Amlin Cups. Yes change was required but what’s the point of forcing change if you can’t then deliver the administration to support it?

      The Swiss base has failed to materialise – they are having to use ‘old’ ERC offices in Dublin. Add in the current amateurish state of the official web site and we achieve substantial embarassment.

      Here we are at the end of July, some 7 weeks after both Competition Pool Draws were made and there is still no sign of the Fixtures schedule. This is unacceptable – Waken Up European Rugby!

      1. They’re hopeless. You’d think their website would give us a bit of a clue as to when they will be announced. What a shambles!

  10. I’m with arrdee – a nasty mix of omnishambles and greed. Last 2 Heineken Cup finals were all Top14 & English finalists too – so damn all to do with unfair advantage of Irish sides. Many Top 14 sides can field 2 top class sides a week…

  11. I’ve heard rumours that they’ve tried to roll out the fixtures twice but Sarries (Wembley) Bath (Ashton Gate) and Racing Club (All over North France) are moaning about tv scheduling amidst their desire to play at money spinning larger stadia. Greedy Tail wagging Puppy Dog ! As you say Les its now August and we’re no further forward. What a Shambles!

  12. Unbelievable!!

    Decision making is obviously much too much for our organisers – good (is it?) news – we now know where the finals will be played – bad news – they can’t release fixtures until Thursday 14th August (2pm)!!

    So have they used this ideal opportunity to spread the rugby word? – of course not. Rather than consider the likes of – Rome, Milan, Madrid, Lisbon Amsterdam, they have opted for Twickenham, England.

    Yes England, who already has the (ticket rip off) RWC next year and England who brought about the demise of the Heineken Cup.

    This was a great opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to European Rugby rather than bow to the pressures of big boys.

    Let’s hope we all get the fixtures (and wee trips?) we wanted and let’s hope we DO get them this Thursday and not next!

    PS for an early ‘peek’ at the fixtures please phone Twickenham – I am sure that they will have decided who is playing who and when by now.

  13. lord it s gas on here now looking at all this humble pie lol. (goes well with strawberries lol) anybody with half a brain could have seen this shambles coming because the sugar daddys who got this so called new competition in place are not rugby people or have nothing to do with rugby or some of them have most likely not even been to rugby matches in the past. These guys as i have been saying from the start don ‘t give a toss about the sport of rugby , they simply care about becoming even more filthy rich than they already are and they are using rugby as a vehicle to do so and sadly the well meaning old codgers that were running the game , pretty well it has to be said, simply caved in and gave the chancers the keys of the clubhouse a decision that the pro rugby game will bitterly regret very soon i fear.. Taking the final to twickers next year on their world cup year is exactly the sand in the face that the Welsh especially deserve for backing this charade in the first place. And of course expanding the club game in europe is a real priority when you cut the number of competiting clubs by 4.The autumn intl matches are in their sights now and the 6n s are being teed up for another billionaire coup . But fear not the ‘pub pool version’ of rugby oops ‘sorry i mean sevens’ will help to expand the sport for sure and the money men can just rool on as normal. Sad times ahead i fear for a great old sport.

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