Champions Cup and Challenge Cup to resume with knockout rounds in April - organisers

(Reuters) - The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup will resume with the round of 16 matches in April after the final two rounds of pool matches in January were cancelled, the tournament organisers said on Wednesday.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) said the top eight teams in Pool A and top eight teams in Pool B at the time of the suspension of the tournament have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup.

Clubs from the same league cannot be drawn against one another, however, clubs from either pool can be drawn against one another.

A further principle agreed by the EPCR board will ensure that clubs that have won both pool stage matches on the pitch – where results were not impacted by COVID-19 – will play at home in the round of 16.

Therefore Racing 92, Leinster, Wasps, Bordeaux and Munster will all have home advantage.

In the second-tier Challenge Cup, clubs that have won both preliminary stage matches on the pitch will play at home in the round of 16. As a result, London Irish, Ospreys and Leicester Tigers will each be guaranteed a home fixture.

The last 16 draw for both tournaments will take place on March 9, with the matches being played on the first weekend of April.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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