The draw for the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup takes place today at 1.20 pm in Lausanne, Switzerland.
20 clubs have qualified for next season’s premier European club rugby competition.
Before the main pool draw can take place, the 20 qualified clubs must first be placed into four tiers of five teams based on their ranking:
The three domestic league winners; Saracens, Leinster and Toulouse are guaranteed top-ranking and they will be placed in Tier 1.
Tier 1 will also include two of the three clubs who are ranked second from the Premiership, PRO14 and Top 14. These two clubs will be decided by a draw in advance of the main pool draw.
Tier 2 will include three clubs who are ranked third from the Premiership, PRO14 and Top 14 [Gloucester, Munster and Lyon] and it will also include the second-ranked club which was not drawn into Tier 1, in addition to the club which is ranked fourth from the same league as the club which was not drawn into Tier 1.
Tier 3 will include the two fourth-ranked clubs which are not in Tier 2 and will also include the three clubs which are ranked fifth from each league [Harlequins, Connacht, Racing 92].
Tier 4 will include the three clubs [Bath, Benetton, Montpellier] which are ranked sixth in the leagues as well as the Sale Sharks, a losing Challenge Cup semi-finalist and the Ospreys, the seventh-ranked club from the PRO14.
2nd Ranked: Exeter Chiefs, Glasgow Warriors, Clermont Auvergne
4th Ranked: Northampton Saints, Ulster, La Rochelle
Main Pool Draw:
Once the makeup of the Tiers is confirmed, the main pool draw will take place.
The main pool draw will also adhere to the following key principles:
- The 20 Clubs which have qualified on merit from the Gallagher Premiership Rugby, the Guinness PRO14 and the TOP14 will compete in the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup in five pools of four
- The clubs are divided into four tiers based on their performances in the knockout phases, and/or their qualification postions in their league tables. This will be done by a draw in advance of the main pool draw
- The 2019 Heineken Champions Cup winners go automatically into Tier 1
- 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
- No pool will contain two PRO14 clubs from the same country
- Clubs from the same league will be kept apart until the allocation of the Tier 4 clubs
The draw will be streamed live on epcrugby.com and stay tuned to Pundit Arena for all the reaction from today’s pool draw.