2019/20 European Cup rugby pool draws announced

SWANSEA, WALES - JANUARY 13: Saracens player Richard Wigglesworth (c) reacts after the 15-15 draw after the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Ospreys and Saracens at Liberty Stadium on January 13, 2018 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Today the 2019/20 European Cup rugby pool draws were made at the Centre de Congrès Beaulieu in Lausanne, Switzerland. 40 European clubs learnt who they would be facing in European competition, beginning in November.

The headline is a tough draw for champions Saracens who will face Munster and Racing 92 in Pool Four of the Champions Cup.

The full draws for the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup are as follows:

Heineken Champions Cup draw

Pool One

Leinster Rugby, Lyon, Northampton Saints, Benetton Rugby

Pool Two

Exeter Chiefs, Glasgow Warriors, La Rochelle, Sale Sharks

Pool Three

Clermont Auvergne, Ulster, Harlequins, Bath

Pool Four

Saracens, Munster, Racing 92, Ospreys

Pool Five

Toulouse, Gloucester Rugby, Connacht, Montpellier

Pool Four is the obvious standout, with champions Saracens drawn against Munster and Racing 92. Even the Ospreys won’t be easy, in light of their draw with Saracens in this competition a few years ago.

Pool Five will also be interesting, with French heavyweights Toulouse and Montpellier pitted against Gloucester and Connacht. Meanwhile, Leinster will probably be the happiest of the top seeds, particularly given the tough group they faced last year.

European Challenge Cup draw

Pool One

Castres Olympique, Worcester Warriors, Dragons, Enesei-STM

Pool Two

Scarlets, Toulon, London Irish, Bayonne

Pool Three

Wasps, Edinburgh Rugby, Bordeaux-Begles, Agen

Pool Four

Stade Francais, Bristol Bears, Zebre Rugby, Brive

Pool Five

Cardiff Blues, Leicester Tigers, Pau, Rugby Calvisano

This draw promised to throw up some exciting ties, given the amount of ‘big-name’ clubs in the draw. The likes of Wasps, Leicester Tigers, Scarlets, Castres and Toulon are not used to Challenge Cup action and some were always likely to feature in the proverbial ‘group of death’.

So it proved as Scarlets and Toulon, regular enemies in the Champions Cup, will face each other in Pool Two. The Dragons face another trip to Russia in Pool One whilst there will be tasty Anglo-Welsh derbies between Cardiff Blues and Leicester Tigers in Pool Five.

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