Champions Cup schedule confirmed
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs will kick-off their Heineken Champions Cup campaign with a trip across the English Channel to face French Top 14 side Castres.
Rob Baxter’s side will make their second-ever trip to the Stade Pierre Fabre on the weekend of December 9/10.
The two sides last met at the same venue back in October 2018 when the hosts ran out narrow 29-25 victors on the day.
The following weekend the Chiefs will return to Sandy Park when they entertain European newcomers, the Bulls, for what should be a mouth-watering showdown over the weekend of December 16/17.
The Bulls, alongside fellow South Africans side, the Sharks and the Stormers, are making their tournament debut and come fresh from impressing in last season’s United Rugby Championship.
With a star-studded squad at their disposal, it promises to be a match not to be missed.
Into the New Year and the two sides will meet in Round Three, this time at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on the weekend of January 13/14.
It will mark the first time the Chiefs have ever played in South Africa. It will, however, be similar surroundings for the likes of Jannes Kirsten, Aidon Davis, Jacques Vermeulen and Ruben Van Heerden.
The Chiefs will then wrap up their pool stage qualification with a home encounter against Castres on the weekend of January 20/21.
This will mark the second occasion that Castres have visited Devon, the Chiefs winning their previous match-up back in January 2019 with a 34-12 scoreline.
Exact dates and kick-off times will be announced at a later date following the conclusion of EPCR’s ongoing media rights negotiations
Click HERE for the 2022/23 Heineken Champions Cup pool stage fixtures - www.epcrugby.com/champions-cup/matches/fixtures-and-results/
2022/23 KEY DATES
Round 1 – 9/10/11 December 2022
Round 2 – 16/17/18 December 2022
Round 3 – 13/14/15 January 2023
Round 4 – 20/21/22 January 2023
Round of 16 – 31 March - 1/2 April 2023
Quarter-Finals – 7/8/9 April 2023
Semi-Finals – 28/29/30 April 2023
Heineken Champions Cup Final – Saturday 20 May 2023; Aviva Stadium, Dublin