Euro schedule: Stormers get a date with champs in Cape Town
FIXTURES: The Bulls and Stormers will be up against two of Europe’s heavyweights in the opening round of the 2023/2024 Champions Cup.
The Bulls will begin their second season of rugby amongst Europe’s elite, at home where they will host Saracens in Round One on Saturday, December 9.
The following weekend – Saturday, December 16 – the Bulls will travel to Lyon for the second round of the competition, where they will take on the French Top 14 side at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland. The competition will then take a break before resuming in the new year with the Tshwane-based outfit travelling to Bristol – on Saturday, January 13 – where they will face the Premiership club in Round Three.
They will return to Loftus where they will host French outfit Union Bordeaux-Bègles in the final round of the pool stages before the competition focuses on the knockout stage.
The Stormers will take on Leicester Tigers in England in the opening before they welcome reigning champions Stade Rochelais to Cape Town in Round Two.
The Capetonians will take on Sale Sharks in Cape Town in Round Three and they will end the pool phase against Stade Francais in Paris.
EPCR Chairman, Dominic McKay, said: “We are delighted to announce the details of EPCR’s 2023/24 tournament pool stage fixtures five months before the tournaments gets underway again in December.
“This has been a collaborative process and we thank the clubs, leagues and our broadcast partners for their assistance in finalising the schedule in such a short period of time.
“We know the fans will be hugely excited about the fixtures and they are now able to plan their weekends well in advance. There are some intriguing clashes in the pool stages with world-class rugby for all to see.”
Meanwhile, in the EPCR Challenge Cup, the Sharks will have home advantage in Rounds One and Three for their meetings with Section Paloise and last season’s PRO D2 winners, Oyonnax.
In Round Two they will go head-to-head with South African rivals, the Cheetahs, in Bloemfontein on Sunday, December 17 before concluding their Pool One campaign against Dragons at Rodney Parade on Sunday, January 21.
The Cheetahs will be in Italy in Round One for their clash against Zebre. The Bloemfontein side will face Section Paloise in Round Three and Oyonnax in Round Four
The Lions start their campaign in France against Perpignan before they face the Newcastle Falcons at home in Round Two.
A clash against Montpellier in France awaits the Lions in Round Three. They will end the pool phase with a home match against Ospreys.
The 2023/24 weekends:
Round One – 8/9/10 December 2023
Round Two – 15/16/17 December 2023
Round Three – 12/13/14 January 2024
Round Four – 19/20/21 January 2024
Round of 16 – 5/6/7 April 2024
Quarterfinals – 12/13/14 April 2024
Semifinals – 3/4/5 May 2024
EPCR Challenge Cup Final – Friday 24 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Champions Cup Final – Saturday 25 May 2024, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium