Champions Cup – Vodacom Bulls And DHL Stormers Secure Home Round Of 16


The end of rugby’s Investec Champions Cup pool stage is now in sight, and the focus is beginning to turn to which clubs have qualified for the knockout stage, which begins with the Round of 16 in April.

Matches continue to be tight and tense as clubs battle to gain what foothold they can in their pool - and even for those who have qualified there is still the task of securing a home tie in the Round of 16.

Here is a list of all the clubs to have booked their spot in the Investec Champions Cup Round of 16.

Lyon (Pool 1): Lyon may have suffered a narrow loss at Bristol Bears in Round 1, but they picked up two bonus points at Ashton Gate which proved key to their qualification. They picked up successive bonus point wins at home against Vodacom Bulls and Connacht Rugby to secure their spot in the knockout stage.

Union Bordeaux-Bègles (Pool 1): The TOP 14 club have been outstanding in this season's competition, winning three of their four Pool 1 matches against Connacht Rugby, Bristol Bears and Saracens. They achieved try bonus points in all four of their games, with an additional losing bonus in Round 4 against Vodacom Bulls.

Stade Toulousain (Pool 2): The record winners of EPCR's elite competition, Stade Toulousain qualified for the Round of 16 with a dominant trio of bonus point victories over Cardiff Rugby, Harlequins and Ulster Rugby.

Bath Rugby (Pool 2): Winner of EPCR's premier competition back in 1997-98, Bath Rugby penned their name in the Round of 16 with a trio of bonus point victories over Ulster Rugby, Cardiff Rugby and Racing 92 in Pool 2.

Harlequins (Pool 2): Harlequins are once again in the knockout stage of the competition following wins over Racing 92, Cardiff Rugby and Harlequins.

Northampton Saints (Pool 3): Northampton Saints secured their spot in the Round of 16 after their Round 3 mauling of Aviron Bayonnais, who they defeated 61-14. They picked up four wins from four to ensure home advantage in the next round.

Exeter Chiefs (Pool 3): With three comeback wins in the first three rounds Exeter Chiefs secured their spot in the Round of 16 and will have home advantage. They defeated RC Toulon, Munster Rugby and Glasgow Warriors in three impressive performances.

Leinster Rugby (Pool 4): Losing finalists in both of the last two seasons, Leinster Rugby are looking to go all the way this season and add a fifth Investec Champions Cup title to their trophy cabinet. They won all four of their Pool 4 matches to secure home advantage in the Round of 16, starting with a win at two-time defending champions Stade Rochelais.

Glasgow Warriors (Pool 3): Two wins, a try bonus point and a losing bonus point proved enough for Glasgow Warriors to earn their place in the Round of 16, sealing it with an impressive home win over RC Toulon in Round 4.

Vodacom Bulls (Pool 1): Vodacom Bulls became the first South African club to qualify for this year's Round of 16, with wins over Saracens, Bristol Bears and Union Bordeaux-Bègles in Rounds 1, 2 and 4. They also secured a home advantage for the next round.

Racing 92 (Pool 2): Racing 92 only needed one win to get out of Pool 2, smashing Cardiff Rugby in round 4. Another try bonus point and two losing bonus points in the other three rounds were also crucial.

DHL Stormers (Pool 4): After a Round 1 loss at Leicester Tigers, DHL Stormers soared in their remaining three pool games - including a win over holders Stade Rochelais - to claim second spot in the pool and home advantage in the Round of 16.

Munster Rugby (Pool 3): Thomond Park was not it's usual fortress for Munster Rugby, the Irish province drawing at home to Aviron Bayonnais and losing to Northampton Saints, but a famous win at RC Toulon was key as they made the Round of 16.

Saracens (Pool 1): It uncharacteristically took the three-time champions until the last game to secure passage to the knockout stage, but Saracens got there in the end with wins over Connacht Rugby and Lyon.