The European Rugby Cup will bring together 24 teams from next season, announced the organizing body of the continental rugby competitions.
The clubs will be divided into just two pools of twelve teams, before an elimination phase with matches in a round-trip format.
Europe 1 takes stock of the 2020-2021 season.
In three months, the weekend of December 11, 12 and 13, the European Rugby Cup, which brings together the best clubs from the old continent, will finally begin ... but with a very particular format.
The competition will bring together 24 teams, divided into two pools of twelve, announced Wednesday the EPCR, the organizing body of the continental rugby competitions.
This change in format (until last season, there were five pools of four teams) "on an exceptional basis", specifies the EPCR, will therefore bring together eight teams from the Top 14, eight from the English Premiership and eight Scottish teams, Welsh and Irish Pro 14.
Two pools of 12 teams
"These clubs will be divided into two pools of 12 through a draw and the tournament will be played over eight weekends, including four days of group matches and a knockout phase consisting of quarter-finals round-trip, semi-finals then the final in Marseille on May 22, 2021 ", explains the instance.
The 2022 finals will take place in London, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The clubs are divided into hats and teams from the same league and the same hat cannot compete.
So no Franco-French duel on the program and all the teams from the same pool will not be able to compete.
Each team will play four matches, two at home and two away.
The EPCR Steering Committee unanimously decided that new formats would be implemented for the 2020/2021 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season
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- Champions Cup France (@ChampionsCup_FR) September 2, 2020
Finals at the Marseille Velodrome in May
The teams which finish from fifth to eighth place in each pool will be transferred to the European Challenge, from the round of 16.
This competition will start with 14 clubs (six from Top 14, four from the English Premiership and four from Pro 14) in a single pool.
Like the European Cup, this tournament will be played over eight weekends, including four in the knockout phase.
The final will take place on May 21 at the Stade Vélodrome, as it should have taken place in 2020.
"We are in an unusual and unpredictable context. We thought about how to take into account its constraints, adapting to them, trying to bring something new. We will try to test formats that may be useful for the future. Rather than reacting, we wanted to adopt a proactive approach, "Vincent Gaillard, director general of the organizing body, told AFP.