EPCR has confirmed that the five leading clubs from South Africa will compete in the Heineken Champions Cup and the EPCR Challenge Cup from the 2022/23 season and beyond.
The Stormers, Bulls, Sharks and Lions, who have qualified from the United Rugby Championship (URC), will join Europe’s top clubs in the competition.
In addition to the four qualifiers from the URC, the Bloemfontein-based Cheetahs have been invited to participate in the 2022/23 EPCR Challenge Cup.
Leinster Rugby, Ulster Rugby, Munster Rugby, Edinburgh Rugby, the Ospreys, the Cape Town-based Stormers, the Bulls from Pretoria and the Durban-based Sharks will compete in next season’s Heineken Champions Cup following impressive campaigns in the URC.
The Lions from Johannesburg and the Cheetahs will represent South Africa in the EPCR Challenge Cup.
The formats for next season’s Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup will be announced shortly, in conjunction with details of the Pool Draws for both tournaments which will be staged towards the end of the month.
SARU Chief Executive, Jurie Roux, said:
“Our five franchise teams will now play in two new territories against opponents we’ve never played before. We’ve already experienced the intensity of the URC, and now we’ll also face the top clubs from England and France. We would like to thank all stakeholders who have been involved in the negotiation process – the Board and staff of EPCR, the URC, Premiership Rugby and the Ligue Nationale de Rugby.
During the 2022/23 season, EPCR will continue to be supported by Heineken as the title partner of the Heineken Champions Cup, as well as by EPCR’s Official Logistics Partner DHL and Official Hotels Partner IHG Hotels & Resorts amongst others, with future exciting partner announcements expected in the near future.
The 2023 Finals weekend is scheduled for Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May.