Jun 11, 2015
Saracens Top Seeds for Euro draw
Saracens, Glasgow Warriors and the winners of Saturday's Top 14 final between ASM Clermont Auvergne and Stade Français Paris will be guaranteed top seedings when the pool draw for the European Rugby Champions Cup takes place in Neuchâtel, Switzerland next Wednesday (17 June).
This key event will get underway with the pool draw for next season's European Rugby Challenge Cup at 1.15pm (UK and Irish time) and the draw for the Champions Cup pools will follow immediately.
Both draws will be streamed live on epcrugby.com with further coverage on btsport.com, Sky Sports News and beIN Sports.
The event comperes in Neuchatel will be Craig Doyle (BT Sport) and Raphaël Ibañez (European Cup winner - France Televisions), with Dimitri Yachvili (Challenge Cup winner - beIN Sports) and Ieuan Evans (European Cup winner - Sky Sports) conducting the draws.
Twenty clubs from the Aviva Premiership, the Top 14 and the Guinness PRO12 have qualified on merit for the Champions Cup. The clubs will be divided into four tiers of five and a draw will be conducted to establish Tier 1 with two of the three second-ranked clubs – Bath Rugby, Munster Rugby and the Top 14 beaten finalists – joining Saracens, Glasgow Warriors and the Top 14 champions in the top tier.
Once Tier 1 has been established, the remaining three tiers will fall into place. Tier 2 will include the three third-ranked clubs from the leagues - Northampton Saints, RC Toulon and Ospreys - as well as the second-ranked club which was not drawn into Tier 1 and fourth-ranked club from the same league as the club which was not drawn into Tier 1.
Tier 3 will include the two clubs ranked fourth which are not in Tier 2 as well as the three fifth-ranked clubs from each league - Exeter Chiefs, Racing 92 and Leinster Rugby.
Tier 4 will contain the sixth-ranked clubs from the leagues - Wasps, Oyonnax and Scarlets - as well as Benetton Treviso and the winner of the Champions Cup play-offs, Bordeaux-Bègles.
When the tiers are completed, the draw proper for the five pools will be made, and during the draw, some clubs may have to be placed directly into a pool in order to ensure that the key principles apply (see below).
In Tier 4, Wasps will be drawn into a pool which contains one other Aviva Premiership club and Oyonnax and Bordeaux-Bègles will be drawn into pools which each contain one other Top 14 club.
Montpellier, Sale Sharks and Connacht Rugby are confirmed among the Tier 1 clubs for the Challenge Cup draw which will be conducted on similar lines with four tiers and five pools.
In Tier 4, Worcester Warriors will be drawn into a pool which contains one other Aviva Premiership club.
Champions Cup qualification
For the purposes of creating the tiers, the Aviva Premiership, Top 14 and PRO12 clubs are ranked based on their league performances and on their performances in the knockout phases. For clubs which did not qualify for the knockout phases of their leagues, or which were eliminated at the same stage of the knockout phase, rankings are decided by league table finishing positions.
|Rank||Aviva Premiership||Top 14||PRO12|
|1||Saracens||Clermont or SF Paris||Glasgow Warriors|
|2||Bath||Clermont or SF Paris||Munster|
|3||Northampton Saints||RC Toulon||Ospreys|
|5||Exeter Chiefs||Racing 92||Leinster|
Challenge Cup qualification
For the purposes of creating the tiers, the clubs are ranked based on their finishing positions in the Top 14, Aviva Premiership, PRO12, PRO D2 and Greene King IPA Championship leagues, or on their qualification from the Qualifying Competition.
|Rank||Aviva Premiership||Top 14||Pro 12|
|4||London Irish||Grenoble||Cardiff Blues|
|5||Newcastle Falcons||Castres||Zebre Rugby|
- Cammi Rugby Calvisano (Italy)
- Enisei-STM (Russia)
Pool draws – key principles
- The 20 clubs are divided into four tiers based on their qualification position from their leagues. This will be done where necessary by a draw.
- The 20 clubs will then be divided into five pools of four clubs each.
- Each of the five pools will have at least one club from each of the three leagues.
- Each of the five pools will have one club from each of the four tiers.
- There will be no more than two clubs from the same league in a pool.
- No pool will contain two PRO12 clubs from the same country.
- Clubs from the same league will be kept apart until the allocation of the Tier 4 clubs.
2015/16 Tournament weekends
- Round 1: 12/13/14/15 November
- Round 2: 19/20/21/22 November
- Round 3: 10/11/12/13 December
- Round 4: 17/18/19/20 December
- Round 5: 14/15/16/17 January 2016
- Round 6: 21/22/23/24 January 2016
- Quarter-finals: 7/8/9/10 April 2016
- Semi-finals: 22/23/24 April 2016
- Finals: 13/14 May 2016