Au revoir Stormers, ‘lekker bly’ for Bulls, Sharks
The Stormers begin life in the European Champions Cup with a trip to France, while the Vodacom Bulls and Sharks kick off their campaign on home soil. Vodacom United Rugby Championship winners the Stormers, will face two-time Top 14 champions Clermont Auvergne at the Stade Marcel-Michelin, while the Bulls and the Sharks are set to host French side Lyon and English Premiership club Harlequins, in Pretoria and Durban respectively. European rugby bosses on Thursday confirmed the pool stage fixtures for the 2022-23 Champions and Challenge Cups. MORE: Cup draw sends Europe’s best to South Africa The Champions Cup begins with each team playing home and away ties against two pool rivals over eight weekends starting in December, followed by a knockout stage consisting of a round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals for each competition at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 19 and 20 May, 2023. Meanwhile, in the second-tier Challenge Cup, the Lions will make their tournament debut away against English club Worcester Warriors, while the Cheetahs – who will play their two ‘home’ matches at Stadio Lanfranchi in Parma, go head-to-head with Section Paloise at Stade du Hameau in the south-west of France. WEEKEND SCHEDULE REVEALED Your 2022/23 #HeinekenChampionsCup weekends are in the diary with kick-off dates and times arriving shortly Rate your team’s schedule out of 10… — Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) July 21, 2022 Champions Cup draw: Pool A: Castres, Saracens, Bulls, Lyon, Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh, Bordeaux, Harlequins, Leinster, Ulster, Racing 92, Gloucester, Sharks. Pool B: Montpellier, Leicester Tigers, Stormers, Clermont, London Irish, Ospreys, Toulouse, Northampton Saints, La Rochelle, Sale Sharks, Munster. Schedule: Round 1 – 9/10/11 December 2022 Round 2 – 16/17/18 December 2022 Round 3 – 13/14/15 January 2023 Round 4 – 20/21/22 January 2023 Round of 16 – 31 March/ 1/2 April 2023 Quarter-finals – 7/8/9 April 2023 Semi-finals – 28/29/30 April 2023 Champions Cup final – Saturday, 20 May 2023 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin Challenge Cup draw: European Challenge Cup Pool A: Glasgow Warriors, Toulon, Bristol Bears, Zebre, Perpignan, Bath, Connacht, Cardiff, Brive, Newcastle Falcons. Pool B: Scarlets, Pau, Wasps, Dragons, Bayonne, Cheetahs, Lions, Benetton, Stade Francais, Worcester Warriors. Schedule: Round 1 – 9/10/11 December 2022 Round 2 – 16/17/18 December 2022 Round 3 – 13/14/15 January 2023 Round 4 – 20/21/22 January 2023 Round of 16 – 31 March/ 1/2 April 2023 Quarter-finals – 7/8/9 April 2023 Semi-finals – 28/29/30 April 2023 Challenge Cup final – Friday 19 May 2023 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo: @TheStormers/Twitter The post Au revoir Stormers, ‘lekker bly’ for Bulls, Sharks appeared first on SA Rugby magazine.