Champions Cup finalists to meet in pool play

1:51 PM BST

There’ll be a repeat of last season’s European final in the group stages of the next Champions Cup after defending champions Saracens were drawn with Clermont Auvergne.

Despite winning the competition on the last two times of asking, Saracens weren’t in the top tier of teams when it came to the draw after they lost in the semifinals of the Aviva Premiership to Exeter Chiefs.

That saw them drop to Tier 2, where they were the final team drawn out into Pool 2 with last season’s beaten finalists.

Pro12 semifinalists Ospreys are also in Pool 2 as are Northampton Saints who snuck into the competition having beaten Stade Francais in a play-off last month.

Aviva Premiership champions Exeter are in Pool 3 alongside Leinster, Montpellier and Glasgow Warriors.

Premiership runners up Wasps have a difficult task ahead of them with La Rochelle, Ulster and Harlequins with them in Pool 1.

Pro12 champions Scarlets are grouped with Toulon, Bath and Benetton Treviso.

Munster, Racing 92 and Leicester Tigers are in the same group again as was the case last season, with Castres joining them in Pool 4.

The first round of fixtures will be played during the second week of October, with the Champions Cup final to be held in Bilbao on May 12, 2018.

Pool 1: Wasps, La Rochelle, Ulster, Harlequins.

Pool 2: Clermont Auvergne, Saracens, Ospreys, Northampton Saints.

Pool 3: Exeter Chiefs, Leinster, Montpellier, Glasgow Warriors.

Pool 4: Munster, Racing 92, Leicester, Castres

Pool 5: Scarlets, Toulon, Bath, Benetton Treviso.

More to follow.

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