Leinster and Munster will both be guaranteed home advantage in the last 16 round of the Heineken Champions Cup.
After the cancellation of the last two rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup pool stages, tournament organisers EPCR have revealed a revised format for the competitions.
The top eight teams in both pools of the Champions Cup will go through to a new expanded knockout stage of the tournament featuring 16 clubs.
Following in-depth discussions with its shareholder leagues and unions, EPCR can announce the revised tournament format for the 2020/21 #HeinekenChampionsCup 🚨
Full story ⤵️https://t.co/8KOWI5eyzZ
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 24, 2021
Five clubs will be guaranteed home advantage in the round of the last 16, as they won both of their fixtures in the pool stages without having been given a walkover due to coronavirus complications.
Those five clubs are Leinster, Munster, Racing 92, Bordeaux-Begles and Wasps. Toulouse, Lyon, La Rochelle and Scarlets are not guaranteed home games despite officially having won two games out of two, as each of them were awarded a walkover.
The draw for the round of the last 16 and the quarter-finals will both take place on March 9. Teams from the same league cannot be drawn against one another but teams from the same pool can for the last 16.
For the quarter-finals, teams from the same leagues can be drawn against one another.
A similar system is taking place for the European Challenge Cup, where the top eight teams in the 12-team preliminary stage will go through to the quarter-finals of the competition.
London Irish, Leicester Tigers and Ospreys will be guaranteed home games in the quarter-finals are they are the only clubs who played and won their two pool fixtures.
2020/21 Knockout stage qualifiers.
Heineken Champions Cup – Racing 92, Leinster Rugby, Wasps, Bordeaux-Bègles, Munster Rugby, Lyon, Toulouse, La Rochelle, Scarlets, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Bristol Bears, Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh Rugby, Gloucester Rugby, RC Toulon, Sale Sharks
Challenge Cup – London Irish, Ospreys, Leicester Tigers, Cardiff Blues, Zebre Rugby Club, Agen, Benetton Rugby, Newcastle Falcons, Ulster Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Northampton Saints, Bath Rugby, Montpellier, Dragons, Harlequins, Glasgow Warriors
EPCR Key Dates.
Knockout Stage Draws: Tuesday 9 March
Rounds of 16: 2/3/4 April
Quarter-finals: 9/10/11 April
Semi-finals: 30 April – 1/2 May
Challenge Cup final: Marseille – Friday, 21 May
Heineken Champions Cup final: Marseille – Saturday, 22 May