EPCR announce that Champions Cup final will not take place in Marseille

Ben Coles
The Telegraph
The Champions Cup on display during the captain's run at the San Mames Stadium, Bilbao - PA
The Champions Cup on display during the captain's run at the San Mames Stadium, Bilbao - PA

This season's Champions Cup final will no longer take place in Marseille, EPCR confirmed on Thursday. 

The Challenge Cup and Champions Cup finals, which were originally scheduled for May 21-22, are now pencilled in for the weekend of October 16-18, with EPCR set to confirm the venues for both finals. 

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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," EPCR said in a statement.

"As a consequence, EPCR is currently working with its shareholder leagues and unions to secure an alternative venue or venues for the two finals."

Marseille will instead host the 2021 Challenge and Champions Cup finals at the Stade Velodrome, which has previously hosted a Six Nations fixture between France and Italy. Any tickets purchased for this year's finals will be valid for next year, with no change to category or seating.

The Stade Velodrome before the Six Nations match between France and Italy in 2018 - GETTY IMAGES
The Stade Velodrome before the Six Nations match between France and Italy in 2018 - GETTY IMAGES

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which was previously scheduled to host the 2021 finals, will now do so in 2022, EPCR also confirmed.

This season's Champions Cup is set to resume in September, with the quarter-finals scheduled to take place on the weekend of September 18-20. Exact dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage will be announced "as soon as possible", said EPCR.

"As is now customary during the pandemic, the matches will be subject to government guidelines with the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community to the fore."

The quarter-final lineup sees Saracens, relegated from the Gallagher Premiership, travel to Dublin to take on four-time champions Leinster. Exeter Chiefs will also host Northampton Saints in an all-English tie, while four-time winners Toulouse host Ulster and Clermont will face Racing 92.

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