European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals moved out of Marseille

The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals have been moved from Marseille for the second successive season.

Marseille’s Stade Velodrome will no longer host the deciders on May 21 and 22 due to the public health situation in France, where Covid-19 cases are on the rise.

Instead, the 2022 finals will be played in Marseille, with the 2023 finals scheduled for Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) added that this season’s Champions Cup semi-finals will be played at the venues of the home clubs. The draw for the last four takes place on Sunday, April 11.

EPCR said in a statement: “After consultation with the relevant local authorities in France and given the evolving public health situation, the board concluded that in order to reduce cross-border travel where possible and to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission, flexibility was required regarding the choice of venues for the finals on May 21 and 22.

“EPCR is working with its shareholder leagues and unions to put in place alternative arrangements for the staging of the two matches with all contingencies underpinned by the primary concern of protecting the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, fans, and the wider rugby community.

“The 2022 finals will now be played in Marseille on May 27 and 28, with European club rugby’s blue riband weekend scheduled for London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2023.”

The knockout stages of this season’s Champions Cup begin on Friday when Leinster face Toulon in the last 16. Defending champions Exeter Chiefs host Lyon on Saturday.

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