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Champions Cup Set To Ditch Unpopular Two Pools of 12 Format

Champions Cup Set To Ditch Unpopular Two Pools of 12 Format
Colman Stanley
By Colman Stanley
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The Champions Cup is set to revert back to its more classic format of pools of four, rather than two giant pools of 12, which has been in place for the last three seasons.

EPCR chairman, Dominic McKay, spoke to The Times and said that after months spent researching with clubs, unions, and leagues, the organisation has decided to bring changes to the competition, which could be in place by next season.

The current format has been much maligned, due to the ease in which teams can qualify and the amount of dead rubber fixtures, and the overall confusion of the format.

The changes will still see 24 teams included, over six pools, and will presumably ditch the last-16 round - although this has not been confirmed. However, this may give scope to introduce a two leg quarter-final.


“We’ll definitely evolve our format, there’s no doubt about that," said McKay.

"How we do it is still being finessed at the moment. The readability of the tournament needs to be easy for everyone to access; that means our existing supporters, naturally, but we’ve also got ambition to grow our supporter base and support our clubs and leagues to grow rugby into new markets."

Champions Cup Set To Revert Back To Pools Of Four

28 May 2022; Cian Healy of Leinster following his side's defeat in the Heineken Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and La Rochelle at Stade Velodrome in Marseille, France. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

READ HERE: 2022/23 Champions Cup Format Largely Unchanged From Last Year

“One of the easiest ways to do that is the readability of the tournament. Can you explain it in a couple of sentences? That’s what we are interested in doing, while also making sure we have a structure that creates real sporting jeopardy for as many games as we possibly can.


“There are a few things for us to weigh up but we are making great progress, chopping quite a lot of wood. We’re definitely getting there and it’s important that we do our research and our thinking in a thoughtful way, that we engage with our stakeholders.

SEE ALSO: Johnny Sexton Has Most Likely Played His Late Ever Game For Leinster

leinster johnny sexton

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