Saints to face reigning champions in Europe next season

Saints have been handed a hugely difficult Heineken Champions Cup pool draw after being paired with La Rochelle and Munster.

La Rochelle are currently the reigning champions, having beaten Leinster in last season's showpiece in Marseille.

Munster also did well in the competition last season, only being eliminated in a quarter-final shootout against Toulouse in Dublin.

It means Saints will have it all to do to qualify from Pool B.

Phil Dowson

But it is an exciting challenge for Phil Dowson's side, while supporters will be able to soak up the culture in Limerick and La Rochelle.

Saints were eliminated at the pool stage last season, failing to win a game as they faced Ulster and Racing 92.

They will hope to fare better on this occasion as they again face home and away games against some of the European elite.

The 2022/23 EPCR season will be played over eight weekends, with four rounds of matches in the pool stage starting in December.

These will be followed by a knockout stage consisting of a Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and culminating in the Heineken Champions Cup final in Dublin at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

EPCR will now begin working on the fixture schedule – exact dates, kick-off times and TV coverage will be announced in the coming weeks.

Champions Cup pool stage draw

POOL A: Castres Olympique, Saracens, Bulls, Union Bordeaux Bègles, Harlequins, Leinster Rugby, Racing 92, Gloucester Rugby, Sharks, Lyon OU, Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh Rugby

POOL B: Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Leicester Tigers, Stormers, Stade Toulousain, Saints, Ulster Rugby, Stade Rochelais, Sale Sharks, Munster Rugby, ASM Clermont Auvergne, London Irish, Ospreys