EDINBURGH will hope to emulate their most impressive European performance of last season when they kick off their Champions Cup campaign in December with a visit to Saracens.

Mike Blair’s side took part in the second-tier Challenge Cup competition in 2021-22, and they began their pool-stage schedule with a morale-boosting 21-18 victory over the English giants at the Stonex Stadium. They went on to qualify for the last eight of the Challenge Cup, while their showing in the URC was good enough for promotion to European rugby’s premier tournament.

Last season’s Challenge Cup pool format saw each side play four others either home or away, but this season both competitions have home-and-away fixtures at the pool stage. In Edinburgh’s case that means back-to-back matches against French club Castres either side of Christmas - at the DAM Health Stadium in December then away in January - before they complete their pool games with the return match against Saracens.

After just being edged out of the Champions Cup places in the URC, Glasgow will begin their Challenge Cup programme with a visit to Bath, who like Saracens are former European champions. The Warriors are then at home to Perpignan, also in December. After the turn of the year, Glasgow visit Perpignan before ending their pool-stage matches at home to Bath. 

The kick-off dates and times for the matches in both competitions have yet to be decided, with only the weekends of each round having been determined so far. The 24 competing teams in the Champions Cup have been split into two pools of 12, with the eight highest-ranked teams from each pool after the four rounds going through to the knockout stages.

In the Challenge Cup, 20 teams have been split into two pools of 10. The six highest from each pool go through to the last 16, where they will be joined by the sides who finished ninth and 10th in each of the Champions Cup pools.

The knockout stages in both competitions start on the first weekend of April, while the finals will be on Friday 19 May (Challenge Cup) and Saturday 20 May (Champions Cup) at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Edinburgh’s Champions Cup pool games:

Saracens (A) - weekend of 9 December

Castres (H) - weekend of 16 December

Castres (A) - weekend of 13 January

Saracens (H) - weekend of 20 January

Glasgow’s Challenge Cup pool games:

Bath (A) - weekend of 9 December

Perpignan (H) - weekend of 16 December

Perpignan (A) - weekend of 13 January

Bath (H) - weekend of 20 January.