Saracens start Champions Cup defence at Racing 92

Saracens will begin their defence of the European Champions Cup with a trip to French giants Racing 92, the tournament’s organisers announced on Friday.

The English outfit, who also won the Premiership last season, head to Paris on November 17 during the opening round, which has been moved a month later into the season due to the Rugby World Cup.

They also face two-time winners Munster as well as Welsh region the Ospreys during the pool stages.

Irish province Leinster, runners up to Mark McCall’s side, kick-off their campaign by hosting Treviso and have moved their round four tie against the Northampton Saints from their RDS Arena home to the Aviva Stadium.

May’s Challenge Cup winners Clermont welcome Harlequins in their first match in a re-run of last year’s quarter-final.

Leicester Tigers, two time European champions, make their first appearance in the second-tier competition after finishing 11th in the Premiership last year and welcome Pau during the opening matchday.

Both finals of European cup rugby’s 25th season will be held at Marseille’s Velodrome Stadium on the weekend of May 22-23.

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