Originally supposed to be held in the Stade Velodrome, the 2020 European Cup Final will no longer be held in Marseille. The organisers have decided the final, which is set to take place on Saturday October 17th, will now take place at a different veue which is to be determined. Marseille will now host the 2021 final, with the 2022 final being held in London at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The 2020 Champions Cup Quarter Finals will be held between September 18 – 20th, with the semi-finals taking place over the weekend of 25 – 27th. Next seasons European Cup is set to begin on the weekend of December 11 – 13th.
After Round 5 of the Heineken Champions Cup pool stage 5 teams are through with 4 pool winners confirmed. Leinster are the only Irish side guaranteed a knockout place, Exeter Chiefs, Racing 92, and Toulouse follow them through as pool winners. Clermont Auvergne have also qualified, with their final place in pool 3 still to be determined. As for the other Irish sides, Connacht were eliminated on after defeat to Toulouse on Saturday, but Munster and Ulster could still progress, with Ulster still in with a chance of winning their pool. Remember the 5 pool winners are ranked 1 – 5 and the 3 best runner-s-up are ranked 6 – 8, in the quarter finals it will be; 1v8, 2v7, 3v6, 4v5. Here is the current standings for the knockout rounds:
Pool 3 is the only pool where the winner has not been decided. A win for Clermont Auvergne will see them top the pool. However, if the French side were to lose, picking up no points and Ulster were to win against Bath, Ulster would top the pool. If Clermont get a point from their game Ulster need 5 points. If the two sides finish level on points, Clermont will top the pool due to having picked up more points in games between the sides. For Ulster to get a home quarter final, they would need Racing, Exeter, and Toulouse to lose along with Clermont, and for their to be a big points swing in their favor.
As for Leinster, a win would guarantee them a home quarter final. If Leinster lose without an LBP, Clermont get a bonus point win, and Exeter, Racing, and Toulouse all win, Leinster will finish 5th in the rankings and have an away quarter final.
Munster will need a lot of results to go their way to qualify. Munster need a bonus point win, and for Saracens and two of Gloucester, Northampton, and Glasgow, to lose. Connacht, as we mentioned, are already eliminated.
I was at the RDS on Sunday, it was a packed house for the penltimate pool game. Lyon proved stubborn in the first half, ensuring they wee only 7 points behind at half time.Leinster started brightly, having two tries ruled out in the first ten minutes, but seemed to take their foot off the gas in the latter stages of the half, letting the French side back into it.
Leinster wouldn’t concede again in the game, securing the bonus point:
Before getting a 5th:
And a 6th:
Ultimately it was yet another comfortable win in the RDS for Leinster.