Champions Cup Draw – How It Works

Both draws (Champions Cup and Challenge Cup) will be broadcast live on Sky Sports News and streamed on epcrugby.com.

Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht, Aviva Premiership champions Saracens and Top 14 champions Racing 92 will be guaranteed top seedings.

Key principles

  • The 20 clubs which have qualified on merit from the PRO12, Aviva Premiership and Top 14 leagues will compete in the 2016/17 Champions Cup in five pools of four.
  • The clubs are divided into four tiers based on their status as championship winners and/or on their qualification positions in their league tables. This will be done by a draw in advance of the main pool draw, however it is already confirmed that Munster will be in Tier 4.
  • Each pool 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.

Some clubs may have to be placed directly into a pool in order to ensure the key principles apply.

European Rugby Champions Cup qualification
For the purposes of creating the tiers, the PRO12, Aviva Premiership and Top 14 clubs are ranked based on their league performances and on their performances in the knockout phases. For clubs who did not qualify for the knockout phases of their leagues, or were eliminated at the same stage of the knockout phase, rankings are decided by league table finishing positions.

Rank PRO12 Aviva Premiership Top 14
1 Connacht Saracens Racing 92
2 Leinster Exeter Chiefs RC Toulon
3 Glasgow Warriors Wasps ASM Clermont Auvergne
4 Ulster Leicester Tigers Montpellier
5 Scarlets Northampton Saints Toulouse
6 Munster Sale Sharks Castres Olympique
7 Zebre Bordeaux-Begles

Tier 1
Tier 1 will include the three champions from the Aviva Premiership, the TOP 14 and the PRO12.
Tier 1 will also include two of the three clubs which are ranked second from the Aviva Premiership, the TOP 14 and the PRO12. The two clubs will be decided by a draw in advance of the draw for the pools.

Tier 2
Tier 2 will include the three clubs which are ranked third from the Aviva Premiership, the TOP 14 and the PRO12.

Tier 2 will also include the second-ranked club which was not drawn into Tier 1, and the club which is ranked fourth from the same league as the club which was not drawn into Tier 1.

Tier 3
Tier 3 will include the two clubs ranked fourth which are not in Tier 2. Tier 3 will also include the three clubs which are ranked fifth from each league.

Tier 4
Tier 4 will include the three clubs which are ranked sixth in the leagues. Tier 4 will also include the 7th ranked club in the TOP 14 and the Italian qualifier from the PRO12. The clubs in Tier 4 are already confirmed as follows: Sale Sharks, Munster, Zebre Rugby, Castres Olympique and Bordeaux-Bègles.

EPCR weekends – 2016/17 season
Round 1: 13/14/15/16 October
Round 2: 20/21/22/23 October
Round 3: 8/9/10/11 December
Round 4: 15/16/17/18 December
Round 5: 12/13/14/15 January 2017
Round 6: 19/20/21/22 January 2017
Quarter-finals: 30/31 March – 1/2 April 2017
Semi-finals: 21/22/23 April 2017
Finals Edinburgh 2017 Challenge Cup final: Friday 12 May, BT Murrayfield Stadium Champions Cup final: Saturday 13 May, BT Murrayfield Stadium.

 

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