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SA teams to kick-start Euro campaigns in December

SPOTLIGHT: Following the recent announcement of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium as the venue for the 2025 Finals weekend, EPCR confirmed that the Challenge Cup Final will be played on Friday, May 23 next year with the showpiece Champions Cup Final set to go ahead the following day on Saturday, May 24.

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Cardiff has a long and illustrious connection with the tournaments having staged high-profile European and Champions Cup deciders on seven previous occasions – the last being in 2014 – and next year’s event at the 74,000-capacity stadium will celebrate the 30th edition of the elite final.

The Challenge Cup decider has been held in the Welsh capital on two previous occasions – 2011 and 2014 – and 2025 will be the first time that the two Cardiff Finals are played at the same venue.

The 2024/25 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments will continue with the same pool stage format as last season and will kick off in December with two consecutive rounds of action, followed by Rounds three and four on consecutive weekends in January 2025.

The pool draws for the 2024/25 tournaments will take place in Cardiff on Tuesday, July 2.

2024/25 CHAMPIONS CUP QUALIFIERS

TOP 14: Stade Toulousain, Stade Français Paris, Union Bordeaux-Begles, RC Toulon, Stade Rochelais, Racing 92, Castres Olympique, ASM Clermont Auvergne

United Rugby Championship: Munster, Bulls, Leinster, Glasgow Warriors, Stormers, Ulster, Benetton, Sharks

Premiership: Northampton Saints, Bath, Sale Sharks, Saracens, Bristol Bears, Harlequins, Exeter Chiefs, Leicester Tigers

2024/25 EPCR CHALLENGE CUP QUALIFIERS

TOP 14: Section Paloise, USAP, Lyon Olympique Universitaire, Aviron Bayonnais, Montpellier Hérault or Grenoble, RC Vannes

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United Rugby Championship: Ospreys, Lions, Edinburgh, Connacht Rugby, Cardiff, Scarlets, Dragons RFC, Zebre Parma

Premiership: Gloucester, Newcastle Falcons

Invited: Two clubs

* The four Tier one clubs in the Champions Cup and the full list of Challenge Cup clubs will be confirmed in advance of the pool draws.

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* Invited clubs to be announced shortly

2024/25 weekends
Round one – December 6/7/8
Round two – December 13/14/15
Round three – January 2025, 10/11/12
Round four – January 2025, 17/18/19
Round of 16 – April 2025. 4/5/6
Quarterfinals – April 2025, 11/12/13
Semifinals – May 2025, 2/3/4

2025 Challenge Cup Final – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff; Friday, May 23

2025 Champions Cup Final – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff; Saturday, May 24

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