Top seeds from the Aviva Premiership, Saracens, will be up against two-time European champions, Munster Rugby, ASM Clermont Auvergne and Sale Sharks in a heavyweight Pool 1 of the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup.
The pool draws for EPCR’s new tournaments which took place today (Tuesday, 10 June) in Neuchatel, Switzerland, put together three of last seasons Heineken Cup semi-finalists as well as fellow Aviva Premiership side Sale Sharks in Pool 1.
Saracens forwards coach Alex Sanderson on today’s draw; “With the signings we are making we are really looking forward to meeting the likes of Clermont, Munster and Sale, it promises to be a hugely competitive tournament.
“I am sure Clermont will want some sort of retribution for that when we meet them next season”.
“They are one of the genuine European superpowers, always there or thereabouts when it comes to the semi-finals and final, and it will be interesting to see how they handle the departure of coach Vern Cotter to Scotland.
“Their supporters will certainly be demanding some sort of silverware after going close in the last couple of years – but then so will Munster’s fans.
“We went there in the group stages two seasons ago and it was unbelievably tough, the support they have is indescribable and probably reflects on the number of points they score at Thomond Park.
“It is one hell of a place to come away from with anything but the losing bonus point we took away in 2013 was ultimately the clincher for us qualifying for the quarter-finals.
Sanderson added; “Sale have a great defence and are always competitive around the breakdown and under Steve Diamond are building up their traditional resilient underdog culture.”
Fixtures and dates will be announced in due course.