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Each Premiership team’s key Investec Champions Cup pool match

The draw for the 2024/2025 Investec Champions Cup has been made, and there are plenty of mouth-watering clashes for fans to look forward too. 

The La Rochelle-Leinster rivalry will yet again be the headline pool match this season, but which fixture should each Premiership club be targeting?

Well, Rugby Nause News has you covered, as we’ve broken down each Premiership clubs key Investec Champions Cup pool game.

N.B EPCR HAVE NOT CONFIRMED EXACT FIXTURE DATES YET

Bath: Leinster

Bath Rugby in the Premiership final-Credit: IMAGO

A pool stage game against Leinster will be the true test of Bath’s progress under Johann van Graan. Leinster will come into this Champions Cup campaign even hungrier than normal after their agonising extra-time defeat to Toulouse in last season’s final, but Bath need to put in a competitive showing to prove they are now back amongst Europe’s elite.

Bristol Bears: La Rochelle

Bristol Bears celebrate a try-Credit: IMAGO

Bristol’s flamboyant attack will really be put to the test against the mighty La Rochelle. Whilst being in the same pool as Leinster would make this the obvious choice, the game against La Rochelle will be vital in proving Bristol can play, and win, in more than one way. They were really put under the cosh by Saracens in their penultimate game of the season, and this game will likely be another similar affair. This is a huge test for Pat Lam’s side.

Exeter Chiefs: Toulouse

Exeter Chiefs after a try against Bath Rugby in the Investec Champions Cup-Credit: IMAGO

The side’s last met in the quarter-finals, so this will be a nice marker to compare their new-look group. Exeter did put up a good fight in the opening 40 minutes, but the test for Rob Baxter’s men is if they can compete with the reigning European champions for the full 80 minutes. This fixture will really allow the Chiefs to take stock and see where they are in the second season of ‘Exeter 2.0’.

Harlequins: Glasgow Warriors

Will Evans and Marcus Smith celebrate a try in the Investec Champions Cup-Credit: IMAGO

Another pair who met in the knockout stages in the 2023/2024 Champions Cup, but Glasgow now come into the competition as URC title holders. Both teams love to play a fast-paced, attacking style; and the game between them at the Stoop last season went down to the wire. This too will provide Billy Millard with a nice marker to compare where his side are at compared with the previous year.

Leicester Tigers: The Sharks

Leicester Tigers celebrate a win-Credit: IMAGO

Two teams who relish the physicality battle, but also have some genuine quality in the backs too; what more could you want? Leicester Tigers clash with the Sharks will see two incredibly similar teams going at it and it should be a great game. Michael Cheika’s new system should have been implemented by the time the Champions Cup pool stages get under way, meaning Leicester should be in a better place to take on these tough challenges. The Sharks Challenge Cup victory should also make them hungrier for more European success.

Northampton Saints: Munster

Northampton Saints lift Premiership title-Credit: IMAGO

Another pair who faced each other in the Investec Champions Cup last season. Munster and Northampton really brought the best out of each other, twice, in the Champions Cup last year; and this should again be a useful lesson for Phil Dowson to measure where his team are at. The Saints should look

Sale Sharks: Stormers

Gus Warr in action for Sale-Credit: IMAGO

Alex Sanderson and his band of merry men pride themselves on their power up front, but this will be tested to the max against a strong Stormers team. The Stormers will really bring physicality and strength in the collisions, so Sale should be looking to match that. Sanderson also likes to say his team have some ‘South African steel’ in and amongst their squad, and they will be keen to prove a point against their fellow countrymen.

Saracens: Stade Français

Saracens celebrate a try against Bristol Credit: IMAGO

After so many high-profile exits, this is a new era for Saracens, but the test against Stade Français could be a brilliant tester for them. Stade Français surprised everyone last season by finishing second in the Top 14, and were narrowly beaten 22-20 by Bordeaux in the semi-finals too. Their success in the French league should fill them with confidence and make them one of the dark horses for the Champions Cup, so this could be a good test for the new-look Saracens.

2024/25 Investec Champions Cup Pools

Investec Champions Cup draw-Credit: EPCR

1: Toulouse, Bordeaux, The Sharks, Exeter Chiefs, Leicester Tigers, Ulster

2: Leinster, Clermont Auvergne, La Rochelle, Bristol Bears, Benetton, Bath Rugby

3Northampton Saints, Munster, The Bulls, Stade Français, Saracens, Castres

4: Glasgow Warriors, Racing 92, Sale Sharks, The Stormers, Toulon, Harlequins

2024/25 Investec Champions Cup fixture weekends

1 – 6/7/8 December 2024

2 – 13/14/15 December 2024

3 – 10/11/12 January 2025

4 – 17/18/19 January 2025

Round of 16 – 4/5/6 April 2025

Quarter-finals – 11/12/13 April 2025

Semi-finals – 2/3/4 May 2025

EPCR Challenge Cup Final – Friday 23 May 2025, Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Investec Champions Cup Final – Saturday 24 May 2025, Principality Stadium, Cardiff

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