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
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
Castres vs Leinster15:15
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Saturday , October 18
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens15
2Munster14
3Sale Sharks11
4Clermont Auvergne11
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster14
2Harlequins14
3Wasps11
4Castres10
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon14
2Leicester Tigers14
3Ulster11
4Scarlets10
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Glasgow Warriors15
2Toulouse14
3Montpellier11
4Bath10
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ospreys15
2Racing Metro Paris14
3Northampton10
4Treviso10