Planet Rugby

Pool draw thrills McCall

11th June 2014 13:03

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Mark McCall Saracens director of rugby

Excited: Mark McCall

Saracens boss Mark McCall is excited by his side's Champions Cup Pool draw, where they face Munster, Sale Sharks and Clermont.

The Heineken Cup's replacement purports to place greater emphasis on meritocracy, styling itself as the crème de la crème of the pan-European game.

It has certainly delivered a set of mouth-watering - and fiendishly hard to predict - pool fixtures, with no short supply of quality sides.

McCall's men, runners-up in both the final European tournament under the old format and the Premiership, will take on Clermont, who they smashed in this year's semi-final, domestic rivals Sale and Pro12 big guns Munster. Having contested two finals in 2014, Saracens will have good odds to make the knock-outs stages again.

"Playing in Europe you expect to come up against the best teams and I feel that we've got that," said McCall.

"Three of the teams in the group have been in the semi-finals for the last two seasons, so it's a group that is going to be ridiculously tough but incredibly exciting."

Though Saracens destroyed Clermont at Twickenham in this year's last four, McCall reads nothing into the future clash.

"Things can move quite quickly in rugby," added McCall.

"In Munster's case they have changed their coaching staff for this season bringing in Anthony Foley who is a Munster man through and through, and has been part of some of their legendary exploits in Europe.

"Clermont have also changed personnel, with Vern Cotter moving on to Scotland, so they will be different.

"Next season's starting to take shape now after the draw. We'll find out our schedule in due course when the Premiership fixtures are announced, we've got all our plans in place.

"The players are on a well-earned break at the moment but all of sudden with the European draw it's starting to whet the appetite."

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Munster vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Harlequins vs LeinsterTBC
Leicester vs ToulonTBC
Ulster vs ScarletsTBC
Montpellier vs BathTBC
Toulouse vs GlasgowTBC
Benetton Treviso vs Northampton13:00
Ospreys vs Racing Metro 9215:15
Sunday , December 7
Castres vs Wasps13:00
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster28
2Clermont Auvergne26
3Saracens25
4Sale Sharks21
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Harlequins28
2Leinster28
3Wasps22
4Castres21
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon28
2Scarlets24
3Leicester Tigers24
4Ulster21
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors29
2Toulouse28
3Montpellier22
4Bath21
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Racing Metro Paris28
2Northampton25
3Ospreys25
4Treviso20