GLASGOW Warriors will meet a familiar foe in next season’s Champions Cup - ex-Scotland coach Vern Cotter. The Kiwi’s new club, French outfit Montpellier, have been drawn with the Warriors in Pool 3, with English champions Exeter Chiefs and PRO12 rivals Leinster completing the line-up.

“It’s a really exciting group,” Warriors assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys said after yesterday’s draw. “We talked to Vern about this [facing Montpellier] a fair bit during the Six Nations. We were convinced it was going to happen. We’ve worked together for a long time, so we know what the strengths and the style of play of Montpellier will be, although we said we would double-bluff each other.

“International rugby is a fantastic experience, but it’s great to be back in club rugby and with the chance to do something special,” added Humphreys, who was one of Cotter’s Scotland assistant coaches before his recent move to the Warriors. “There’s a slightly different atmosphere on European nights than in the Guinness PRO12.

“Leinster, like a lot of the Irish teams, seem to base their season around the European campaign, so we’d expect them to have their best players available and really go for it. Leinster, Exeter and Montpellier all want to play a good brand of rugby, so I think it’s going to be a really good tournament for the spectators.”

Cotter, who has former Scotland coaches Nathan Hines and Richie Gray as his assistants at the French club, will be hoping to reverse the results the last time Montpellier and Glasgow met in European competition. That was back in season 2014-15, when the Warriors won 15-13 in France then 21-10 at Scotstoun.

The season before that Glasgow won both pool games against Exeter, winning 20-14 at home and 15-10 at Sandy Park. The Scottish side are guaranteed to meet Leinster twice every season in the league, of course, although they last played the Dublin-based team in the Champions Cup in 2011-12, losing both times.

Having been in the bottom group of seeds for the tournament, Glasgow might easily have had a tougher draw. Pool 2, with back-to-back champions Saracens and last season’s runners-up Clermont Auvergne, was a good one to avoid, as was Pool 5, in which PRO12 winners Scarlets are joined by former champions Toulon and Bath.

The Challenge Cup, meanwhile, will see Edinburgh journey to Siberia to meet Krasny Yar, one of the two Russian clubs who qualified via the Challenge Shield. Stade Francais, who beat Gloucester in last month’s final, will be favourites to win Pool 4, which is completed by London Irish.

In both competitions the pool winners and the three best runners-up will qualify for the quarters-finals. The first round of pool matches is on the weekend of 12-15 October, with precise dates, fixtures and kick-off times to be announced in due course. The finals, which took place at Murrayfield last season, will be held in Bilbao on 11 and 12 May next year.


Pool 1: Wasps, La Rochelle, Ulster, Harlequins.

Pool 2: Clermont Auvergne, Saracens, Ospreys, Northampton Saints.

Pool 3: Exeter Chiefs, Leinster, Montpellier, Glasgow Warriors.

Pool 4: Munster, Racing 92, Leicester Tigers, Castres.

Pool 5: Scarlets, Toulon, Bath, Benetton Treviso.


Pool 1: Newcastle Falcons, Newport Gwent Dragons, Bordeaux-Begles, Enisei.

Pool 2: Cardiff Blues, Sale Sharks, Lyon, Toulouse.

Pool 3: Gloucester, Pau, Zebre, Agen.

Pool 4: Stade Francais, Edinburgh, London Irish, Krasny Yar.

Pool 5: Brive, Connacht, Worcester Warriors, Oyonnax.