South African rugby legend Bryan Habana identified Champions Cup pool 4 as the group to watch, after conducting Wednesday’s draw which saw defending champions Saracens partnered with Munster, Racing 92 and Ospreys.

Sarries will be looking to further assert their dominance on the European stage in the new campaign, after defeating Leinster 20-10 in last season’s showpiece finale at St James’ Park in May.

In the pool’s stand-out tie, Mark McCall’s men will be reunited with two-time champions Munster in a repeat of last year’s semi-final, which Sarries won 32-16.

However, 2018 finalists Racing 92, and Welsh heavyweights Ospreys also present fierce competition, and Habana warned that Saracens will face a tough test to claim their fourth title in five years.

The former Toulon winger said: “Saracens will be the team with a target on their back and teams will want to be surpassing them with three Champions Cups in four years.

“They’re not to be messed with, but it’s a tough pool and it will certainly make for some entertaining viewing.

“Munster have been in touching distance and have been so close to getting there, but just haven’t taken that next step.

“They are in that pool with the likes of Racing 92 – who have been ok but haven’t gone on to higher honours – and Ospreys, who are a team that give the ball a lot of air, so it is all to play for.”

Following the draw, here’s a closer look at each of Saracens’ opponents for their Champions Cup campaign which gets underway in November.


One of the traditional powerhouses of the European game, Munster have exited the competition at the semi-final stage seven times since last tasting glory in 2008.

The Red Army also made the last four on the domestic stage last season and their squad is packed full of quality, including British and Irish Lions Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne.

Head coach Johann van Graan will be eager to exact revenge on Saracens after last season’s semi-final defeat but is wary of the challenge that the champions pose.

He said: “It’s such a tough draw, but that’s why it’s called the Champions Cup.

“Saracens have just completed the double and everyone knows how strong they are.

“The pool is full of top-quality sides and it will be a massive challenge.”

Racing 92

The six-time French champions have pedigree in the Champions Cup having finished runners-up twice in the past four seasons and they will be hoping to go one further next time out.

Having been beaten by Saracens in the 2016 final, Racing join Munster in having an extra incentive to overturn the defending champions and will prove a tricky opponent in the pool.

Their current squad boasts star names such as Simon Zebo, Finn Russell and Joe Rokocoko, and the side just missed out on a spot in this year’s last four by a single point to Toulouse.

That, coupled with a fourth-place finish in their domestic campaign, demonstrates that Sarries will more than have their work cut out against the Paris-based side.


Allen Clarke’s side are Wales’ only representative in this year’s Champions Cup after defeating Scarlets in a play-off.

Ospreys couldn’t have imagined a tougher challenge on their return to the competition, but after a period of uncertainty off the pitch last season, they finished the campaign on fire.

The Swansea-based side won their final four games of the regular season to finish fourth in Pro14 Conference A, and then went on to seal their spot back among Europe’s elite with victory over their Welsh rivals.

The signing of fly-half Gareth Anscombe, as well as the emergence of promising talent such as Harri Morgan and Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, ensure Ospreys will put up a good fight, and Clarke warned Sarries can expect a tough game.

He said: “We’ve shown what we can do – particularly at home - when we get out best combinations on the field.

“I’m sure nobody was after having us as a fourth-choice team in a pool.”