Champions Cup Pool Stage Set To Be Scrapped Following Postponement

Abandoned.

The Heineken Champions Cup pool stage is set to be scrapped with the likes of Munster and Leinster set to progress straight to the knockout stages.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs has revealed the postponed final two rounds have now been abandoned because of the lack of space in an already full schedule.

The French government has blocked the Top 14 clubs from competing in cross-border competition this month leaving the tournament organiser no choice but to abandon the final two rounds of action.

Leinster and Munster will now likely both have home ties with Leo Cullen’s side set to play either Sale or Gloucester with Munster at home to either Scarlets or Clermont. Ulster and Connacht are set to go into the Challenge Cup at the round of 16 stage.

“The decision was made very quickly by the executive at EPCR that we would not try to reschedule those games,” Childs said.

“We have a tough season. There’s no space at the end of the season because of the Lions and we have no spare weekends in our season once we resume.

“To play European rounds when the Lions is taking place would have been very damaging to the European tournament. So it was decided very quickly by all three leagues CEOs that we would complete the tournament in the four remaining weekends.

“Everyone is managing their domestic and international calendars to the best of their ability. The exact structure has not been agreed and we’ve already started those discussions.”