2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup

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2018–19 Heineken Champions Cup
Tournament details
Countries England
Tournament format(s)Round-robin and knockout
Date12 October 2018 – 11 May 2019
Tournament statistics
Matches played50
Attendance644,226 (12,885 per match)
Highest Attendance40,261 - Leinster v Bath
(15 December 2018)
Lowest Attendance6,383 - Newcastle v Montpellier
(21 October 2018)
Tries scored291 (5.82 per match)
Top point scorer(s)Ireland Joey Carbery (Munster)
59 points
Top try scorer(s)Ireland Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)
6 tries
VenueSt James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
← 2017–18 (Previous)
(Next) 2019–20 →

The 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup (known as the Heineken Champions Cup for sponsorship reasons)[1] is the fifth season of the European Rugby Champions Cup, the annual club rugby union competition run by European Professional Club Rugby (ECPR) for teams from the top six nations in Europe. It is the 24th season of pan-European professional club rugby competition. This competition will be the first to be sponsored by Heineken since the 2013–14 season.

The tournament started on 12 October 2018. The final will take place on 11 May 2019 at St James' Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.


Twenty clubs from the three major European domestic and regional leagues competed in the Champions Cup. Nineteen of these qualified directly as a result of their league performance.

In a change to previous seasons, the play-off to decide the 20th team was not held.[2] The final place in the Champions Cup is now directly awarded in the following order:[3]

  1. Champions Cup winner, if not already qualified
  2. Challenge Cup winner, if not already qualified
  3. Challenge Cup losing finalist, if not already qualified
  4. Challenge Cup semi-finalist, if not already qualified, or the winner of a play-off between both semi-finalists, if both have not already qualified
  5. Highest ranked non-qualified club by virtue of league position from the same league as the Champions Cup winner

The distribution of teams is:

  • England: 7 clubs
  • France: 6 clubs
    • The top 6 clubs in the Top 14. (6 clubs)
  • Ireland, Scotland & Wales: 7 clubs, based on performance in the Pro14.
    • Following the inclusion of 2 South African teams into the Pro14, the tournament format and qualification process was changed.
    • The top 3 sides in each Pro14 conference (not including the South African sides, who are not eligible for European competition), automatically qualify for the Champions Cup. The previous requirement for each country (Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales) to be represented was waived beginning with this season.[2] (6 Teams)
    • The next best placed eligible team in each conference compete in a one-off play-off game to determine the 7th Pro14 team. (1 Team)

The following teams qualified for the 2018–19 tournament.

Premiership Top 14 Pro14
England England France France Ireland Ireland Scotland Scotland Wales Wales

Team details[edit]

Below is the list of coaches, captain and stadiums with their method of qualification for each team.

Note: Placing shown in brackets, denotes standing at the end of the regular season for their respective leagues, with their end of season positioning shown through CH for Champions, RU for Runner-up, SF for losing Semi-finalist, QF for losing Quarter-finalist, and PO for the Pro14 7th place play-off winner.