With no English clubs involved in the 1998/99 campaign the tournament switched to three Pools of seven teams with each club playing the other once. Spain and Portugal joined the competition to make it seven nations.
The French once again dominated the tournament, filling seven of the eight quarter-final slots. The odd team out was Caerphilly, who became the first Welsh club to reach the knock-out stages in the competition following wins over Racing Club in Paris, Perigeaux and local rivals Newport. They then went down 43-12 in Brive, who had lifted the Heineken Cup only two years earlier. Brive were joined in the semi-finals by the inaugural champions Bourgoin, Montferrand and Narbonne. Bourgoin, with six of the side that had lifted the trophy in Beziers, pipped Brive 26-23, but found Montferrand too strong in the final at Stade Gerland, Lyon. A record crowd of 31,986 turned out to see Fabrice Ribeyrolles's side turn on the style and win 35-16. It provided hooker Olivier Azam with the first of his three winner's medals in the tournament.