The 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup returns this weekend with the Round of 16 second legs. The action starts with a huge all-Irish clash, Leinster vs Connacht, on Friday (5.30pm BST). Then on Saturday, it's Harlequins vs Montpellier free on Channel 4 (12.30pm). Make sure you know how to watch a European Rugby Champions Cup and catch a Leinster vs La Rochelle live stream from where you are.
US fans can stream all the European Rugby Champions Cup action on Peacock (opens in new tab) for only $4.99 a month. Meanwhile, UK viewers can watch selected games FREE on Channel 4 (opens in new tab). Remember: you'll need to use a VPN (opens in new tab) to access your local streaming service from overseas.
Date: 10th Dec 2021 – 28th May 2022
Countries: England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales
Final: Stade de France, Marseille
US stream: Peacock (opens in new tab) ($4.99 a month)
Watch anywhere: Try ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)risk-free today
UK stream: BT Sport
AUS stream: Kayo Sports (opens in new tab) (14-day free trial)
It seems like only yesterday that Toulouse secured a record-breaking fifth Champions Cup win by beating Ronan O'Gara's La Rochelle at Twickenham. Although last year's finale was moved to Twickers due to Covid-19 restrictions in France, the 2021/22 final will go ahead at the Stade de France on 28th May.
The 27th season of European rugby will feature 24 teams split into two pools of 12. The eight highest-ranked clubs from each pool will qualify for the knockout stage of the competition featuring a Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
England will field eight clubs from the Premiership while France will put up seven from the Top 14 (Montpellier qualify as Challenge Cup champions). Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales will field the remaining eight clubs, including the top four sides from the United Rugby Championship (formerly the Pro 14).
Defending champions Toulouse are hot favourites to win a sixth crown but they'll face stiff competition from Leo Cullen's Leinster, currently the second most successful side in European rugby with four Champions Cups to their name. La Rochelle and 2019/20 champions Exeter are also in with a shot at glory having made it to the Round of 16 knockout stages.
Who will take home the biggest prize in rugby come 28th May 2022? Can Leinster unseat Toulouse? Make sure you know to watch a European Rugby Champions Cup live stream from where you are.
European Rugby Champions Cup free live stream
There are plenty of ways to watch the 2021/22 European Rugby Champions Cup free online.
UK fans can watch selected games free on Channel 4 (opens in new tab). (This week's match is Harlequins vs Montpellier on Saturday, 16th April, at 12.30pm BST)
France TV (opens in new tab) will also be showing selected games free-to-air on FR2.
Aussie fans can watch the Champions Cup on Kayo Sports. The streaming service offers new users a 14-day free trial (opens in new tab).
Remember: If you're away from home, you'll need to use a VPN (opens in new tab) to watch your local stream from where you are. We recommend ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Watch the European Rugby Champions Cup from abroad using a VPN
Even if you have subscribed to the relevant European Rugby Champions Cup rights holders, you won't be able to access them when outside your own country. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you get around this obstacle. VPNs are a doddle to use and create a private connection between your device and the internet. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service such as ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) which offers a 100 per cent risk-free money back guarantee. If you're not happy with the service any time within the first 30-days, then you can cancel with no penalties at all.
Try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days (opens in new tab)
ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee with its VPN service. You can use it to watch on your mobile, tablet, laptop, TV, games console and more. There's 24/7 customer support and three months free when you sign-up. Try it – you'll be surprised how simple it is.
Using a VPN is incredibly simple:
1. Install the VPN of your choice. ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is the one we recommend.
2. Open up the VPN app and choose the location of the service you wish to access. For the Champions Cup rugby, you may wish to choose 'USA' for Peacock, or 'UK' for Channel 4.
UK: European Rugby Champions Cup live stream
BT Sport has the rights to show 2021/22 European Rugby Champions Cup games in the UK.
Existing BT customers can upgrade to the sport channels for as little as £15 per month. Non-BT customers can get a BT Sport Monthly Pass (opens in new tab) for £25 a month and enjoy all four BT Sports channels contract-free.
BT Sport for existing BT TV customers from £15 (opens in new tab)
Upgrading to all four BT Sport channels is no big deal if you’re already a BT customer. Those with BT TV already can access the channels from £15 a month for the first three months. BT Broadband customers can enjoy the BT Sport app and watch on the go for the same price.
BT Sport Monthly Pass £25 (opens in new tab)
Open to all, the this pass offers access to all four BT Sport channels through the BT Sport app on TVs, tablets, mobiles and more. Sports include UFC, Champions League football, Heineken Champions Cup rugby and more.
Sky TV users can also add BT Sport to their existing package from £30 a month, but that will not include any 4K viewing. It's also worth looking out for bundled Sky Sports and BT Sport deals.
USA: European Rugby Champions Cup live stream
NBC Sports has the exclusive rights to air European Rugby Champions Cup games in the USA. The network will stream all the action live on Peacock TV (opens in new tab) and subscription costs just $4.99 (opens in new tab) a month (with commercials) or $9.99 (opens in new tab) a month (commercial-free). Cancel anytime.
Outside the US this week? Simply use a use a VPN (opens in new tab) to access all your favourite local streaming services from wherever you are in the world.
Peacock Premium | Only $4.99 a month (opens in new tab)
(opens in new tab)Want to stream European Champions Cup rugby live in the USA? Try Peacock Premium for (ad-supported) coverage of the rugger and a host of other top-quality sports. At under five bucks a month, it's a steal.
Peacock TV gets you full coverage of the European Rugby Champions Cup, plus selected Premier League soccer games, Champions League games, Premiership Rugby, blockbuster movies and TV boxsets such as The Office. It's one heck of a deal.
Australia: European Rugby Champions Cup live stream
Foxtel's streaming-only platform, Kayo Sports (opens in new tab), is the best way to get a European Rugby Champions Cup live stream in Oz. The respected streaming service offers over 50 sports live and on-demand, including Heineken Cup and Six Nations rugby.
The Basic package costs $25 a month while Premium, which works across multiple screens, costs $35 a month. Both come with a a free 14-day trial (opens in new tab). There's no lock-in contract, so you can cancel at any time.
Kayo Sports Free 14-day trial – Champions Cup rugby (opens in new tab)
Kayo Sports lets you live stream and catch up on over 50 sports including European Champions Cup rugby. Choose a free 14-day trial of Basic ($25 a month) or Premium ($35 a month) and cancel any time – there's no lock-in contract.
European Rugby Champions Cup 2021/22 fixtures
All kick-offs local times
ROUND OF 16 - SECOND LEG:
Friday 15th April 2022
Leinster Rugby v Connacht Rugby, Aviva Stadium (17.30)
BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Bristol Bears v Sale Sharks, Ashton Gate (20.00)
BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Saturday 16th April 2022
Harlequins v Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Twickenham Stoop (12.30)
C4 / Virgin Media / BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Munster Rugby v Exeter Chiefs, Thomond Park (15.00)
BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Stade Rochelais v Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Stade Marcel Deflandre (16.00)
FR 2 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
Leicester Tigers v ASM Clermont Auvergne, Mattioli Woods Welford Road (17.30)
BT Sport / beIN SPORTS / FR 4
Ulster Rugby v Stade Toulousain, Kingspan Stadium (20.00)
BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Sunday 17th April 2022
Racing 92 v Stade Français Paris, Paris La Défense Arena (16.30)
beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
6-9th May 2022
The quarter-finals will be played over one match and the highest-ranked clubs from the pool stage will have home venue advantage as follows:
QF 1: Racing 92 (A1) or Stade Francais (B8) v Bristol Bears (B4) or Sale Sharks (A5)
QF 2: Harlequins (B2) or Montpellier (A7) v Stade Rochelais (A3) or Bordeaux-Bègles (B6)
QF 3: Ulster (A2) or Stade Toulousain (B7) v Munster (B3) or Exeter Chiefs (A6)
QF 4: Leicester Tigers (B1) or Clermont (A8) v Leinster (A4) or Connacht (B5)
13-15th May 2022
The semi-finals will be played over one match, and the highest-ranked clubs from the pool stage will have either home country advantage or home venue advantage (TBC) as follows:
SF 1: Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2
SF 2: Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4
2022 HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP FINAL:
28th May 2022
Saturday, 28 May; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille (17.45)
European Rugby Champions Cup match facts
Qualification for the pool stage of the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup depends on a club's final position in their respective national/regional league. The only other way to qualify is by winning the second-tier Challenge Cup, as Montpellier did when they beat Leicester Tigers in May of this 2021.
The first ever Champions Cup winners were French side Toulouse, who defeated Cardiff 21-18 in a tightly contested final at Arms Park, Wales, in front of 21,800 spectators.
Toulouse have won the Champions Cup a record five times and reached the final a record seven times. Leinster have won four, while Saracens and Toulon have won three each.
The tournament was called the Heineken Cup between 1995 and 2014, before its name was changed to the European Rugby Champions Cup. Dutch beer giant Heineken returned as the main sponsor for 2018/19, signing a four year deal to rename the event the Heineken Champions Cup.
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