European Rugby Champions Cup – an annual club tournament
Open to teams from the countries that compete in the international Six Nations tournament, the European Rugby Champions Cup is the sport’s most prestigious club competition on the continent. Don’t miss out on the chance to be there - check out the range of European Rugby Champions Cup tickets available on StubHub.
Formerly the Heineken Cup
Conceived by the Five Nations Committee in 1995, the European Rugby Champions Cup was initially known as the Heineken Cup and consisted of 12 clubs from Ireland, Italy, France, Wales, and Romania. Toulouse was crowned the inaugural winner after beating Cardiff in the final, and by 1997 the competition had expanded to 20 teams, with sides from England and Scotland also joining the fold. Brive, Bath, Colomiers, and Ulster all lifted the trophy before the turn of the century, by which point organisers had spread the 70+ matches out over three months. English teams ruled the early ‘00s thanks to the likes of the Northampton Saints, London Wasps, and two-time winners Leicester Tigers. But between 2008 and 2015, the tournament was dominated by sides from France (Toulouse, Toulon) and Ireland (Munster Rugby, Leinster). England’s Saracens reigned supreme in the late ‘00s, emerging victorious three times at the tournament that had by now been rebranded the European Rugby Champions Cup. You can both buy and sell European Rugby Champions Cup tickets on StubHub now.
20 teams from the Six Nations countries
The modern-day European Rugby Champions Cup’s format welcomes 20 teams from the Six Nations countries: England, France, Italy, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. All but one automatically qualify through their respective league positions, with the remaining side earning their place through a playoff. The group stage consists of five pools of four, with each team playing one another both home and away. A victory earns four points and a draw earns two, while several bonus points are also up for grabs. The five pool winners and three best second-placed teams progress to the seeded knockout stage, with the final played in front of more than 50,000 fans at a neutral venue. In 2018 the competition staged its denouement in a non-competing country for the first time at Bilbao’s San Mamés Stadium – another sign of how the tournament is continuing to grow in popularity across the globe. If you haven’t yet experienced the thrills of the continent’s premier club competition, take a look at the various European Rugby Champions Cup tickets on offer on StubHub today.