European Cup set to be explosive
NEWS: The 2016/17 European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments were launched at The Twickenham Stoop with high-profile representatives of the Premiership clubs.
Twenty clubs will set out on the road to Challenge Cup glory on Thursday, October 13 when Harlequins host Stade Français Paris at Twickenham with the Champions Cup kicking off on October 14 with the clash of Glasgow Warriors and Leicester Tigers at Scotstoun.
Both pieces of silverware are scheduled to be lifted at Edinburgh's BT Murrayfield where the finals will be staged on May 12 and 13, 2017.
All six Premiership clubs - Saracens, Exeter Rugby, Wasps, Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks - competing in the Champions Cup attended the launch with their captains joined either by their Directors of Rugby or head coaches.
Harlequins represented the English contingent of clubs in the Challenge Cup after finishing runners-up in last season's final in Lyon.
European Championship Chairman, Simon Halliday express his delight in the success of the European Rugby Champions Cup.
"Close to one million spectators passed through the turnstiles to watch our matches last season and the global interest shown through television and online media also showcases the compelling sport we have to offer through these tournaments.
"This season, we will pass 18 million spectators in the history of the Champions Cup and we are really looking forward to the finals at Murrayfield after the success of the events in Lyon back in May,"
European Championship Director General, Vincent Gaillard also shared his delight.
"We are delighted to work with the leagues, unions, clubs, partners, media and fans to provide outstanding rugby experiences through our tournaments and events.
"The compelling nature of our competitions has given us the potential to extend our commercial portfolio and has attracted interest in our tournaments from both traditional and emerging markets, showing that we can grow new audiences and to inspire through the high level of sport that we have to offer,"
Please note further launch events will follow for TOP 14 clubs on Monday, October 3 and for PRO12 clubs on Wednesday, October 5.