EPCR draw the pools for the 2021-22 Champions Cup

Bath will have to secure positive results against La Rochelle and Leinster if they are to repeat their 1998 Heineken Cup glory, as the pools for this season’s competition were drawn in Lausanne.

The Premiership club have qualified for the top tier European competition over the last four seasons but have not reached the quarter-final stage of a Champions Cup since 2015.

As part of an expanded tournament now including 24 teams, Bath will face last year’s beaten finalists La Rochelle and PRO14 champions Leinster.

The draw itself comprised four tiers of six clubs that were devised based on where they finished in their domestic leagues last season.

Teams from Tier 1 will benefit from only facing teams from Tier 4, the lowest-ranked teams, while Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs will face each other.

Bath will play La Rochelle and Leinster home and away after being drawn in Pool A.

Last year’s reigning champions Exeter Chiefs will face Montpellier and Glasgow Warriors.

Alex Sanderson’s Sale Sharks are handed tough trips to Clermont Auvergne and the Ospreys, while Northampton Saints meet Racing 92 and Ulster.

Pool B sees reigning Premiership winners drawn against Castres and Cardiff Rugby.

Wasps will welcome Thibaud Flament back to the Ricoh Arena as European champions Toulouse head to Coventry, as well as heavyweights Munster.

Ngani Laumape’s first taste of European rugby since arriving at Stade Francais will see him take on former Super Rugby opponents Charles Piutau and Steven Luatua, as Bristol Bears are drawn against the Parisiens and the Scarlets.

Leicester’s resurgence under Steve Borthwick will undergo the test against Bordeaux-Begles and Connacht.

The Champions Cup final will take place in Marseille on May 28 after it was deferred to 2022, having initially been set to host the 2020-21 final before it was switched to Twickenham.

Round 1 matches are scheduled to kick-off the European season on the weekend of December 10.

POOL A (with opponents in brackets) 

Stade Rochelais (Bath Rugby, Glasgow Warriors) 

Exeter Chiefs (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Glasgow Warriors) 

Leinster Rugby (Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Bath Rugby) 

Racing 92 (Northampton Saints, Ospreys) 

Sale Sharks (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys) 

Ulster Rugby (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Northampton Saints) 

ASM Clermont Auvergne (Sale Sharks, Ulster Rugby) 

Northampton Saints (Racing 92, Ulster Rugby) 

Ospreys (Racing 92, Sale Sharks) 

Montpellier Hérault Rugby (Exeter Chiefs, Leinster Rugby) 

Bath Rugby (Stade Rochelais, Leinster Rugby) 

Glasgow Warriors (Stade Rochelais, Exeter Chiefs) 

POOL B (with opponents in brackets) 

Stade Toulousain (Wasps, Cardiff Rugby) 

Harlequins (Castres Olympique, Cardiff Rugby) 

Munster Rugby (Castres Olympique, Wasps) 

Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Leicester Tigers, Scarlets) 

Bristol Bears (Stade Français Paris, Scarlets) 

Connacht Rugby (Stade Français Paris, Leicester Tigers) 

Stade Français Paris (Bristol Bears, Connacht Rugby) 

Leicester Tigers (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Connacht Rugby) 

Scarlets (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Bristol Bears) 

Castres Olympique (Harlequins, Munster Rugby) 

Wasps (Stade Toulousain, Munster Rugby) 

Cardiff Rugby (Stade Toulousain, Harlequins) 

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