Leinster Rugby, who last season became only the second club in history to win Europe’s blue-riband club tournament for a fourth time, will begin the defence of their title with a mouthwatering Heineken Champions Cup clash against Wasps at the RDS Arena on Friday, 12 October.
The Pool 1 confrontation live on BT Sport is only one of a host of top-quality matches in the fixture schedules for all six rounds of the 2018/19 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup which have been announced by tournament organisers EPCR.
Premiership champions, Saracens, begin their campaign on Sunday, 14 October when they take on Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium, and last season’s Guinness PRO14 runners-up, Scarlets, will be at home against the 2018 Champions Cup defeated finalists, Racing 92, on Saturday, 13 October.
TOP 14 winners, Castres Olympique, make the journey to Kingsholm to face Gloucester Rugby in Pool 2 on Sunday, 14 October, while Cardiff Blues, who triumphed in last season’s Challenge Cup, go head-to-head with tournament debutants Lyon at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland on the same day.
To mark the start of what promises to be an eventful road to the 2019 Newcastle finals, Newcastle Falcons are back in Europe’s top flight for the first time since 2005 and Dean Richards’ side have a demanding opening fixture against RC Toulon at Stade Mayol on Sunday, 14 October.
Highlights of the vital back-to-back matches in Rounds 3 and 4 include the meeting of Saracens and Cardiff Blues, Munster Rugby’s clashes with Castres, the games between Wasps and Toulouse, and Racing 92 and Leicester Tigers, while Leinster’s Round 4 fixture with Bath on Saturday, 15 December will generate another big attendance at the Aviva Stadium.
EPCR Rugby Weekends
- Round 1: 12/13/14 October
- Round 2: 19/20/21 October
- Round 3: 7/8/9 December
- Round 4: 14/15/16 December
- Round 5: 11/12/13 January 2019
- Round 6: 18/19/20 January 2019
- Quarter-finals: 29/30/31 March 2019
- Semi-finals: 19/20/21 April 2019
This season’s Heineken Champions Cup Final takes place at St. James’ Park, Newcastle, on Saturday 11 May.