From Brentford to Durban: new-look Heineken Cup prepares for takeoff

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With three South African sides added this season, long flights and absurd contrasts will be part of the package

This season’s Heineken Champions Cup makes even the enlarged Eurovision Song Contest feel like a parochial concept. This weekend alone there are opening‑round games in such wildly disparate locations as Pretoria, Durban, Brentford and Le Havre, involving almost absurd contrasts in temperature and altitude. It’s “Europe”, captain, but not as we know it.

Talk about refreshing the parts other years have never reached. This weekend Harlequins will be beside the Indian Ocean, coping with humidity and 30-degree heat. Next week they will be back beside the River Crane in Twickenham freezing their Yuletide nuts off. People talk about the brave new world of a world club championship but in many ways it is here already.

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Written by Robert Kitson
This news first appeared on under the title “From Brentford to Durban: new-look Heineken Cup prepares for takeoff”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.