Fixtures - Top Bar

European Rugby Champions Cup: Semi-final previews

SarriesWasps16SB1005

In advance of this weekend’s Champions Cup semi-finals, which sees three Aviva Premiership Rugby sides in action, here are some key statistics from the tournament.

The Madejski Stadium will be hosting a European Cup semi-final for the second time. In 2000, Northampton Saints beat Llanelli Scarlets 31-28 before going on to take the title. 

The City Ground, Nottingham will also be staging a game in European club rugby's elite tournament for the second time. In the 2002 semi-final, Leicester Tigers famously defeated Llanelli Scarlets 13-12 thanks to a last minute penalty from 58 metres by Tim Stimpson which bounced off both crossbar and post before dropping over. 

TOP 14 clubs have a 59% success rate in European Cup semi-finals. Out of 32 matches, French teams have won 19. 

This will be the third time that England has hosted both European Cup semi-finals. In 2007, Leicester Tigers and Wasps reached the final, but in 2008 the two English clubs were defeated – Saracens by Munster and London Irish by Toulouse. 

There have been eight tournament semi-finals to date between TOP 14 and Premiership clubs with the leagues level on four wins apiece. 

The rival coaching teams for the Leicester Tigers v Racing 92 semi-final have strong links to the European Cup. Both Laurent Travers and Ronan O'Gara of Racing, as well as Leicester's Geordan Murphy, are previous tournament winners, while Richard Cockerill was a losing finalist against Travers' Brive in 1997. 

Ten of the last 12 semi-finals in Europe's top flight have been won by clubs with home country advantage. 

Chris Ashton is now third on the tournament's all-time try scoring list with 31 behind Vincent Clerc (36) and Brian O'Driscoll (33). He has been on the losing side in two European Cup finals with Northampton Saints in 2011 and Saracens in 2014.

Fourteen of the 40 semi-finals have been won by the 'away' club – a 35% success rate. On only two occasions have both designated 'away' clubs been victorious – in 2008 and '09. 

Racing 92's Chris Masoe and Martin Castrogiovanni, who both won the title with RC Toulon, are in line to join an elite group of five players who have had European Cup success with two clubs. The double winners to date are: Philippe Carbonneau (Toulouse and Brive), Cedric Heymans (Brive and Toulouse), Federico Mendez (Bath and Northampton), Frederic Michalak (Toulouse and Toulon), Eoin Reddan (Wasps and Leinster). 

317 tries at an average of five per game have been scored in this season's Champions Cup to date, while a total of 2,792 points have been racked up at an average of just under 47 per game. 

Owen Farrell of Saracens is currently the tournament top scorer with 92 points, and Leicester's Vereniki Goneva is joint top try scorer on five with Exeter Chiefs' Thomas Waldrom.

Latest News

Northampton Saints to receive investment from majority shareholders

Northampton Saints plc, the parent company of Northampton Saints, has today announced a significant cash injection into the Aviva Premiership…

Northampton Saints celebrate

Jimmy Gopperth: Youthful experience can help Wasps thrive in key period

Wasps may have suffered a first Aviva Premiership Rugby loss since November last weekend but with a hungry, young squad…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

More to come from Leicester Tigers, warns Dom Barrow

Leicester Tigers have recorded back-to-back bonus-point victories but lock Dom Barrow has issued a warning to the rest of Aviva…

dombarrow1111sb17

RFU Disciplinary: Francois Louw and Kahn Fotuali’i

Francois Louw and Kahn Fotuali’i of Bath Rugby will appear before an RFU Disciplinary panel in Bristol on Tuesday 21…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Matt Symons, James Short, Sinoti Sinoti and Geoff Parling top the OPTA Rugby Rankings

Aviva Premiership Rugby served us up a treat this weekend with 374 points scored in Round 15 and the OPTA…

jamesshort17sb1111

Worcester Warriors sign Jersey prop Simon Kerrod

Warriors have captured the signing of Jersey Reds tighthead prop Simon Kerrod. The 24-year-old, who is considered to be a…

Simon Kerrod

England Rugby squad update

28 players assembled at Pennyhill Park on Monday evening to train for Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations game against Italy at…

Mako Vunipola

New Technology and Strategy film launched as part of Rugby Change Series

Global technology company, Ricoh today launches the fourth film in their Rugby Change Series; which identifies and analyses the major…

Ricoh Technology and Strategy

James Short full of praise for Exeter Chiefs pack

Hat-trick hero James Short praised the contribution of the Exeter Chiefs pack as they brushed aside the attentions of Worcester…

James Short

Steve Gorvett to step down as Bristol Rugby CEO

Steve Gorvett has decided to step down as Chief-Executive at the end of the 2016/17 campaign. Mark Tainton has been…

Steve Gorvett

Gloucester Rugby statement on supporter behaviour at Saracens game

Gloucester Rugby today issued the following statement in relation to an incident following the Saracens game at Kingsholm on Friday…

Kingsholm

Premiership Rugby backs #LiftTheWeight campaign

Premiership Rugby is proud to support #LiftTheWeight a new campaign from The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) that aims to help…

PremRugbyBalls-WP

David Ewers eager to get back fit and firing for Exeter Chiefs

David Ewers may be tipped for an England call-up in the near future but the flanker believes holding down a starting…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Newcastle Falcons sign Josh and Joel Matavesi

Newcastle Falcons’ ambitious recruitment plans for the 2017-18 season have advanced with the news that Fijian international Josh Matavesi and…

Josh Matavesi

Darren Allinson to re-join Bath Rugby on a two-year deal

Bath Rugby is pleased to announce that scrum-half Darren Allinson has agreed a deal to re-join the Club on a…

Darren Allinson