Rugby

Champions Saracens to meet Toulon in Euro Cup

2016-06-29 16:15
(File, Gallo Images)

Paris - Saracens face a tough defence of their European Champions Cup title after being drawn alongside French heavyweights Toulon in the pool stages of the 2016/17 tournament.

Scarlets, the sole Welsh team in the Champions draw, and Saracens' English Premiership rivals Sale make up Pool 3.

Only the winners of each of the five pools are guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals, along with the three best second-placed finishers.

Last season's beaten finalists and French champions, Dan Carter's Racing 92, are drawn in a tough Pool 1 alongside Glasgow, Leicester and Munster.

Pool 2 features Connacht, last season's semi-finalists Wasps, Toulouse and Italian outfit Zebre, traditionally the whipping boys of the continent's showpiece club competition.

Reigning Challenge Cup champions Montpellier are drawn in what looks like to be a testing Pool 4 with Leinster, Northampton and Top 14 rivals Castres.

Clermont, finalists in 2013 and 2015, are also handed a tough draw in Pool 5, aligned with Exeter, Ulster and Bordeaux-Begles.

The first round of matches takes place on the weekend of October 15, with the final scheduled for Edinburgh on May 13.

European Champions Cup 

Pool 1: Racing 92 (FRA), Glasgow Warriors (SCO), Leicester Tigers (ENG), Munster Rugby (IRL)

Pool 2: Connacht Rugby (IRL), Wasps (ENG), Toulouse (FRA), Zebre (ITA)

Pool 3: Saracens (ENG), RC Toulon (FRA), Scarlets (WAL), Sale Sharks (ENG)

Pool 4: Leinster Rugby (IRL), Montpellier (FRA), Northampton Saints (ENG), Castres Olympique (FRA)

Pool 5: Exeter Chiefs (ENG), ASM Clermont Auvergne (FRA), Ulster Rugby (IRL), Bordeaux-Begles (FRA)

European Challenge Cup

Pool 1: La Rochelle (FRA), Gloucester Rugby (ENG), Benetton Treviso (ITA), Bayonne (FRA)

Pool 2: Ospreys (WAL), Grenoble (FRA), Newcastle Falcons (ENG), Lyon (FRA)

Pool 3: Brive (FRA), Worcester Warriors (ENG), Newport-Gwent Dragons (WAL), Enisei STM (RUS)

Pool 4: Cardiff Blues (WAL), Bath Rugby (ENG), Pau (FRA), Bristol Rugby (ENG)

Pool 5: Harlequins (ENG), Edinburgh Rugby (SCO), Stade Francais Paris (FRA), Timisoara Saracens (ROM)

European rugby weekends, 2016/17

Round 1: October 13/14/15/16

Round 2: October 20/21/22/23

Round 3: December 8/9/10/11

Round 4: December 15/16/17/18

Round 5: January 12/13/14/15

Round 6: January 19/20/21/22

Quarter-finals: March 30/31-April 1/2

Semi-finals: April 21/22/23

Finals, Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium: Challenge Cup May 12; Champions Cup May 13

Read more on:    toulon  |  saracens  |  european champions cup  |  rugby
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