It was probably fitting that the first team drawn out of the hat for the 30th anniversary Investec Champions Cup tournament next season was that of the reigning champions Stade Toulousain – who won the first title in Cardiff in 1996.

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The French giants will be hot favourites once again to add to their six titles, the first of which was secured at the old National Ground, Cardiff Arms Park when they beat Cardiff after extra-time.

The captain that day was Emile Ntamack, whose son Romain was in the team that triumphed against Leinster Rugby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in this year’s final.

Stade Toulousain entered Pool 1 as one of the four Tier 1 seeds and were joined by three former champions, Exeter Chiefs, Leicester Tigers and Ulster Rugby. Begles-Bordeaux complete Pool 1.

The 2004 runners-up, Leinster Rugby, will be the top seeds in Pool 2, where they will continue their rivalry with Stade Rochelais. The French club pipped Leinster twice in the 2022 and 2023 finals and the two clubs met three times in last season’s competition.

ASM Clermont Auvergne, west country rivals Bath Rugby and Bristol Bears and Benetton Rugby were also drawn in Pool 2.

The English Premiership champions Northampton Saints, who were EPCR Challenge Cup winners in Cardiff in 2014 having been Champions Cup runners-up at Principality Stadium in 2011, are the top seeds in Pool 3, where they are joined by two-time winners Munster, who triumphed in the Welsh capital in 2006 and 2008 having been beaten in Cardiff in the 2002 final.

Three time champions Saracens, who were runners-up at Principality Stadium in 2014, are also included in Pool 3 along with the Vodacom Bulls, Stade Francais Paris and Castres Olympique.

Pool 4 is headed by the recently crowned United Rugby Championship winners Glasgow Warriors. They will have two fellow URC clubs in their pool, the Hollywoodbets Sharks and DHL Stormers, as well as Harlequins and RC Toulon, who won the second of their hat-trick of titles from 2013-15 came at Principality Stadium.

The EPCR finals weekend is returning to Cardiff in 2025, with the EPCR Challenge Cup final taking place on Friday, 23 May and the Investec Champions Cup final on Saturday, 24 May. Both games will be played under a closed roof, with the Champions Cup final being staged in Cardiff for a record eighth time.

All four Welsh regions featured in the EPCR Challenge Cup draw. There are three pools of six clubs, with Cardiff Rugby featuring in Pool 1, Dragons RFC and Ospreys in Pool 2 and Scarlets in Pool 3.

Each team will play two home and two away matches in the pool stages. The complete draw is:
Pool 1: Cardiff Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Cheetahs, Perpignan, Lyon, Zebre Parma
Pool 2: Montpellier, Section Paloise, Newcastle Falcons, Dragons RFC, Emirates Lions, Ospreys
Pool 4: RC Vannes, Black Lion, Aviron Bayonnais, Scarlets, Edinburgh Rugby, Gloucester Rugby

Tickets for both finals are currently on sale and selling fast. To buy tickets please go to:

Cardiff 2025 Finals | European Professional Club Rugby (