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European Rubgy Champions Cup

The Heineken Cup - officially renamed the European Rugby Champions Cup, was launched in 1995 as a professional International Competition, which has attracted a huge following in both the North and South of our world.

About two years ago there were rumblings from the players and clubs participating in the then "Heinekin Cup" that changes were needed to be made in the format of the competition and quantity of teams eligible to play, which gave birth to the new European Rugby Champions Cup which will see its inauguration in the 2014/15 season.

The three major changes are:

  1. Qualifying teams would be reduced from 24 to 20
  2. 6 teams from each of the three leagues, Premiership,Top 14 and Pro 12 plus the two winners of the previous seasons Heinekin Cup and Challenge League
  3. A new third tier competition for emerging European teams will be launched.

When under the auspices of the International Rugby board, this annual competition had 24 teams from six nations; Ireland, Italy, Wales, England, France and Scotland, and runs from October through to May. According to performances, the number of clubs from each nation may change, but 24 teams play the pool stages, which is split into six pools of four, and each team play will play on a home and away basis. The points system is the same are as follows:-

  1. 4 for a win
  2. 2 for a draw
  3. 1 bonus point for scoring 4 or more tries or if the loosing
    side is within 7 points of the winning team,per game.

The six pool winners and two best placed runners up qualify for the quarter finals. Ranking is done by points scored, so teams are always striving not only for wins but bonus points as well, which makes for exciting and entertaining rugby. If one looks at the attendance figures at games through the years you can see how this competition has grabbed the attention of the public with attendance records for all games.


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