European Champions and Challenge Cup Finals moved away from Marseilles

Edinburgh are still in with a shout in the Challenge Cup but must first overcome Bordeaux-Begles in their quarter-final in mid-September

Clermont players celebrate after lifting the Challenge Cup following a 36-16 victory over fellow French opponents La Rochelle in last year's final at St James' Park in Newcastle. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson
Clermont players celebrate after lifting the Challenge Cup following a 36-16 victory over fellow French opponents La Rochelle in last year's final at St James' Park in Newcastle. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

THE finals of both the 2020 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup will not be played in Marseille as originally planned due to safety concerns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with tournament organisers EPCR indicating that the matches are likely to be played in two different cities in order to minimise the threat of spreading virus.

While Glasgow Warriors dropped out of the Champions Cup after the pool stage, Edinburgh are in the quarter-final of the second-tier Challenge Cup, with a quarter-final clash against Bordeaux-Begles at Stade Chaban Delmas lined up for the weekend of 18th to 20th September.

If they do make it all the way to the final, it is not clear at this stage where that game will be played.


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“With tens of thousands of fans scheduled to travel to the south of France, the Board of EPCR and the local organising committee have agreed that insufficient safeguards are currently in place during the public health crisis to stage two high-profile matches at the 67,000-capacity Stade Vélodrome,” said a statement issued by EPCR this morning.

“As a consequence, EPCR is currently working with its shareholder leagues and unions to secure an alternative venue or venues for the two finals which will be played on the weekend of 16th to 18th October, and details will be announced as soon as practicable.”

Marseille will now host the 2021 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals at the Stade Vélodrome on the weekend of 21st-22th May, and the following year’s finals at the 62,000-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London will be rescheduled for 2022.

Tickets for this season’s finals will be valid for the 2021 weekend with no change to category or seating, and all ticket holders will be contacted by email within the next 48 hours with details of how to avail of a full refund if required.

2020 EPCR dates – 

  • Quarter-finals: weekend of 18th to 20th September
  • Semi-finals: weekend of 25th to 27th September
  • Heineken Champions Cup final: weekend of 16th to 18th October (venue TBC)
  • Challenge Cup final: weekend of 16th to 18th October (venue TBC)
  • Start of 2020-21 season: weekend of 11th to 13th December

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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1880 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.