Heineken Champions Cup
Cotter poised for return to Murrayfield in cup
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill is looking forward to his players testing themselves against the best (pic: SNS Group)
This season’s Heineken Champions Cup will see former Scotland head coach Vern Cotter return to Murrayfield after his Montpellier side was drawn alongside Edinburgh in Pool 5 of the competition.
A tough draw also saw Richard Cockerill’s outfit pulled out of the hat alongside three-time champions Toulon and Newcastle Falcons
“The Heineken Champions Cup is going to be hard whoever you draw,” said Cockerill, who was in charge of Toulon when they reached the 2017 Top 14 Final before joining Edinburgh at the start of last season.
“It’s great to get the big teams. Newcastle Falcons, Montpellier and Toulon have pretty much got world XVs. To be able to test ourselves again those teams, both home and away, is fantastic.
“I’m looking forward to going away to Toulon, Montpellier and Newcastle, but to bring that quality of team to Edinburgh, in front of our supporters, will be fantastic.
“I’m also looking forward to really testing ourselves. We should be excited that Edinburgh, as a club, are mixing with that company and let’s hope we do ourselves justice.
“We want to compete and go up against the very best. Toulon have been European Champions multiple times. Montpellier were finalists in last season’s Top 14, while Newcastle reached the semi-finals of the Premiership after a brilliant season.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity to test ourselves against that type of calibre of player, but also to prove that we’re as good as them as well. We’ve got some very good players in our squad – many of them are in the Scotland set-up – and we’ll go out there to prove ourselves at the top table.”
Cotter became the highest-paid coach in world rugby when he joined Montpellier in the summer of 2017 after being replaced by Gregor Townsend as head coach of Scotland.
Meanwhile, Pool 3 will see Glasgow Warriors go head to head with the English Premiership champions Saracens, Lyon and Cardiff Blues.
The first round of games kick-off on 12-14 October with the final scheduled to be played at St James’ Park in Newcastle on Saturday, 11 May.
Heineken Champions Cup draw
Pool 1: Leinster, Wasps, Toulouse, Bath
Pool 2: Castres, Exeter Chiefs, Munster, Gloucester
Pool 3: Saracens, Glasgow Warriors, Lyon, Cardiff Blues
Pool 4: Scarlets, Racing 92, Leicester Tigers, Ulster
Pool 5: Montpellier, Newcastle Falcons, Edinburgh, Toulon