Premiership Rugby

Investec Champions Cup Explained European Rugby's Finest Return

Investec Champions Cup Explained European Rugby's Finest Return

Unlock the excitement of rugby with our comprehensive guide to the Investec Champions Cup. Explore thrilling matches, top teams and the road to victory.

Dec 5, 2023 by Philip Bendon
Investec Champions Cup Explained European Rugby's Finest Return

European club Rugby’s most prestigious competition returns this weekend for its 28th season. 

Marking its return is a switch back to a four-pool format that harkens back to what many Rugby fans recognize as the best understandable layout. 

The tournament also welcomes a new title sponsor, Investec, which is a bank- and wealth-management company with operations in Europe and South Africa. 

On the topic of South Africa, this will be the second tournament featuring South Africa’s four United Rugby Championship sides, as the competition continues its evolution. 

In total, the tournament will feature 24 teams from European Rugby’s three biggest leagues - the URC, Gallagher Premiership and French Top 14. Each league will have eight representatives split among the four pools. 

For the pool stage, teams are placed into pools via a draw. The teams are ranked based on domestic league performance the previous season and arranged into four tiers. 

Teams then are drawn from the tiers into pools at random, with the restriction that no team will be drawn in the same pool as another team from the same league and tier. 

Teams will play two other teams in their pool from a different league twice, at home and away, and match points will be awarded depending on the result of each game, with teams receiving four points for a win and two for a draw. 

Teams also can earn bonus points for scoring four or more tries and/or for losing a match by seven points or fewer. 

Following the completion of the pool stage, 16 teams qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions Cup, with a further six of the remaining eight dropping into the Challenge Cup. 

The eight winning teams from the Round of 16 will progress to a quarterfinal, with teams ranked 1-4 during the pool stages, each receiving home-field advantage. 

From here, the four winners from the quarterfinals will play in the semifinals, which will confirm the finalists, who will play at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on May 25.   

Rugby fans from North America and US Territories can catch every Investec Champions Cup and Challenge Cup fixture live, exclusively on FloRugby.