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Champions Cup draw: Holders Toulouse to face old foes

NEWS: Holders Toulouse were grouped with their two former final opponents in the European Champions Cup group stages draw on Wednesday.

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Toulouse, who beat La Rochelle in May for a record fifth title, play Wasps, who they lost to in the 2004 Final, as well as Cardiff, who they edged to lift the inaugural trophy in 1996.

La Rochelle will face 1998 champions Bath as well as Scottish side Glasgow Warriors.

The format change introduced last season in the face of the coronavirus pandemic has been kept for the upcoming campaign.

The 24 teams in the tournament are split into two groups of 12. Each side plays two opponents home and away. But no sides play the same two opponents.

The eight highest-ranked clubs from each pool will qualify for two-legged last 16.

The group stages start on the weekend of December 10-12 with final on May 28 in Marseille.

The other highlights of the draw include three-time runners up Racing 92 meeting double winners Wasps as well as the Ospreys.

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Four-time champions Leinster will play Challenge Cup holders Montpellier and Bath.

Draw for European Champions Cup 2021-2022:

Pool A:

La Rochelle (FRA) play Bath (ENG) and Glasgow Warriors (SCO)

Exeter Chiefs (ENG) play Montpellier (FRA) and Glasgow Warriors (SCO)

Leinster (IRL) play Montpellier (FRA) and Bath (ENG)

Montpellier (FRA) play Exeter Chiefs (ENG) and Leinster (IRL)

Bath (ENG) play La Rochelle (FRA) and Leinster (IRL)

Glasgow Warriors (SCO) play La Rochelle (FRA) and Exeter Chiefs (ENG)

Racing 92 (FRA) play Northampton Saints (ENG) and Ospreys (WAL)

Sale Sharks (ENG) play Clermont (FRA) and Ospreys (WAL)

Ulster (IRL) play Clermont (FRA) and Northampton Saints (ENG)

Clermont (FRA) play Sale Sharks (ENG) and Ulster (IRL)

Northampton Saints (ENG), play Racing 92 (FRA) and Ulster (IRL)

Ospreys (WAL) play Racing 92 (FRA) and Sale Sharks (ENG)

Pool B:

Toulouse (FRA) play Wasps (ENG) and Cardiff Blues (WAL)

Harlequins (ENG) play Castres (FRA) and Cardiff Blues (WAL)

Munster (IRL) play Castres (FRA) and Wasps (ENG)

Castres (FRA) play Harlequins (ENG) and Munster (IRL)

Wasps (ENG) play Toulouse (FRA) and Munster (ENG)

Cardiff (WAL) play Toulouse (FRA) and Harlequins (ENG)

Bordeaux-Begles (FRA) play Leicester Tigers (ENG) and Scarlets (WAL)

Bristol Bears (ENG) play Stade Francais (FRA) and Scarlets (WAL)

Connacht (IRL) play Stade Francais (FRA) and Leicester Tigers (ENG)

Stade Francais (FRA) play Bristol Bears (ENG) and Connacht (IRL)

Leicester Tigers (ENG) play Bordeaux-Begles (FRA) and Connacht (ENG)

Scarlets (WAL) play Bordeaux-Begles (FRA) and Bristol Bears (ENG)

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