A Look at the European Rugby Champions Cup

Published: 20th January 2021
Author: Gabriel Hall
Last Updated: 25th February 2021

A Look at the European Rugby Champions Cup

The 2019/20 European Rugby Champions Cup, otherwise known as the Heineken Cup for sponsorship reasons, returns to action this weekend and followers have another fascinating renewal ahead. This promises to be one of the most competitive seasons in living memory and a strong case could be made for any of the leading names in the line-up going on to win the trophy.

The competition gets started on Friday 15 November when Gloucester and Toulouse face off from 7.45 pm in a match that will be shown live on BT Sport. Games will then come at us thick and fast over the course of the weekend with six scheduled for Saturday between 1.00 pm and 5.30 pm, all ties shown live on TV thanks to Channel 4 and BT Sport.

Bet Game by Game

Who will be the big winners and losers of round one? Who will be crowned champions of the European Rugby Champions Cup when the season ends on 23 May next year? Answering these questions correctly could help boost your bank account as you enjoy the rugby betting union action. Major bookmakers are offering betting odds on each of every match or you can look further ahead and bet on the outright markets, giving players a season-long interest.

Looking through the fixtures and backers will be delighted to find there are lots to get your cash on. Pick the winner of the game or play one of the many specials available, all within the click of a button or touch of a screen. Some of the options you can expect to find are handicap, half time/full time, draw no bet, half time, double chance, highest scoring half, total points odd/even and plenty more besides. There’s more than enough to keep you interested for the duration of the fixture. You can also keep an eye on how your bet is going with one of the top live streaming rugby sites.

Players looking through the markets will also realise many of the original prices and betting opportunities remain live throughout the course of the game thanks to in-play betting. Get your cash down before kick-off or bet in-play. It is now possible to bet at any stage of the match as markets and prices remain live and are updated to keep pace with the score. This means a bet is as exciting in the final few minutes as it was before the start. Waiting to bet in-play allows backers the chance to see how both teams are lining up, which players appear to be in form and even what part the weather will play in the match.

Profit From your Love of Rugby

Those after a long-term investment can also bet ante-post on the European Rugby Champions Cup. The top betting firms allow you to bet on this competition through their desktop website or mobile app in seconds. You can also bet on the biggest and best rugby matches, including international fixtures. You’ll find more on England’s online rugby betting here. Choose your selections wisely and you could profit from your love of the sport, beating the bookies in the process. Live rugby is a joy to watch but it doesn’t quite compare to boosting your bank balance while cheering on your favourite teams and players, live on TV.

Bet ante-post and you can get your cash down on the winner of the Heineken Cup outright or on one of the many specials markets available. These include top try scorer, top points scorer, the nationality of the winner, pool one winner, pool two winner, pool three winner, pool four winner and pool five winner. These markets go beyond the individual games shown live on TV and act as real value for money bets as they give you an interest in all results connected to your bet. Betting ante-post is extremely popular with rugby punters, especially at this time of year. Backing the eventual champion not only boosts your profit margin, but it also gives punters the added satisfaction that they knew enough about the sport and competition to correctly call the champion before a ball had been kicked or a try scored. Who will you have your cash down on?

Similar to rugby match betting, you’ll also get in-play betting on the outright markets. The winner of the Heineken Cup, for example, remains live. The prices of the teams and markets are updated following every result.

Competition Format

The European Rugby Champions Cup is a round-robin format that progresses onto a knockout competition at the conclusion of the group stages. The original field is separated into five pools of four teams and each of the squads involved play the others twice, one at home and again at the home of their opponents.

Teams gain points based on results and performance. Four points is awarded for a win, two for a draw, one bonus point for scoring four or more tries and one for losing a match by seven points or less. The original line up consists of 20 teams from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The final will be played on 23 May 2020 at Stade de Marseille in France.

The draw for the pool stages of the competition has already taken place and the groups read as follows.

Pool 1

  • Benetton
  • Leinster
  • Lyon
  • Northampton Saints

Pool 2

  • Exeter
  • Glasgow
  • La Rochelle
  • Sale

Pool 3

  • Clermont
  • Bath
  • Harlequins
  • Ulster

Pool 4

  • Munster
  • Ospreys
  • Racing 92
  • Saracens

Pool 5

  • Connact
  • Gloucester
  • Montpellier
  • Toulouse

Outright Betting Markets and Odds

We have what promises to be a competitive renewal this season, but bookmakers have made their feelings clear and go up with their markets and odds on who the winners and losers should be. There’s no lack of value in the outright betting market to win the Heineken Cup but the money men have pinned Leinster to the head of their list. The jolly has been scratched up as a 2/1 shot with every major firm, but Unibet is happy to offer a bit more and go 9/4 on Leinster living up to expectations and coming out on top.

Saracens rare as the main danger and go in as second-favourites with a 3/1 price tag attached by William Hill. Again, there’s a difference of opinion between the traders with many bookies offering only 3/1 or even 5/2 on the same bet. If you are going to punt on the Heineken Cup outright winner, we would advise doing your homework before betting to ensure you get the best deal possible for your stake money. Below is a list of the outright betting before game one…


  • Leinster at 9/4 with Unibet
  • Saracens at 3/1 with William Hill
  • Clermont at 7/1 with William Hill
  • Toulouse at 15/2 with bet365
  • Exeter at 14/1 with Unibet
  • Racing 92 at 25/1 with Unibet

Top try scorer

  • Lowe at 9/1 with Betfair
  • Raka at 10/1 with Betfair
  • Maitland at 14/1 with Betfair
  • Kolbe at 14/1 with Betfair
  • Spencer at 16/1 with Betfair
  • Thomas at 18/1 with Betfair

Nationality of winner

  • Ireland at 6/4 with Betfair
  • England at 13/8 with Betfair
  • France at 9/4 with Betfair
  • Scotland at 40/1 with Betfair
  • Wales at 500/1 with Betfair

English Teams Have Won Three of the Last Four Renewals

There’s plenty of value available in those markets and it’s also worth keeping in mind the final will be played in France. Backing a French winner at 9/4 with Betfair makes plenty of appeal. You can also research the recent stats of this competition before getting your cash down and this could help throw up a clue or hint to assist you in the battle against the bookies.

A team from England has won three of the last four renewals of this competition. Saracens beat Leinster in last year’s final by a score of 20 points to 10. We also had Saracens winning in 2016 and 2017. That explains why the bookies have been so keen to keep on the right side of English representatives. Leinster have appeared in each of the last two finals. They beat Racing 92 to win the trophy in 2018 and fell at the final hurdle last year when going down in what was a competitive decider to Saracens at St James Park, Newcastle in front of a bumper crowd of more than 50,000.

The last winner from France came back in 2015 when Toulon beat Clermont by a score of 24 points to 18 at Twickenham in London. French sides have been knocking on the door in recent years, however, as a closer look at the stats prove. We have finished with a French losing finalist in four of the last five years. Clermont and Racing 92 lost two games each in that time. It’s likely we’ll see the French reps feature in the latter stages of this competition again.

gabriel hall

About Gabriel Hall

Gabe is a seasoned content writer with a focus on sports betting. He's penned hundreds of sportsbook evaluations, betting tip pieces, and 'How-To' guides to assist bettors with their tactics, among other things. Gabe loves football, but he also enjoys cricket, tennis, golf, rugby, and the NBA, NFL, and MLB.