The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup draws take place this Wednesday.
This key event will get underway with the pool draw for the 2016/17 Challenge Cup at 13.00 (UK and Irish time) and the draw for the Champions Cup pools will follow immediately.
Both draws will be broadcast on Sky Sports News, beIN Sports and Infosport+ and streamed live on www.epcrugby.com
Twenty clubs from the Aviva Premiership, the PRO12 and the TOP 14 have qualified for the 2016/17 Champions Cup. The clubs will be divided into four tiers of five and a preliminary draw will be conducted to establish Tier 1 with two of the three second-ranked clubs – Exeter Chiefs, Leinster Rugby and Toulons- joining Saracens, Connacht and Racing 92 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 – Wasps, Glasgow Warriors and ASM Clermont Auvergne – as well as the second-ranked club which was not drawn into Tier 1 and the 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 – Northampton Saints, Scarlets and Toulouse.
Tier 4 is complete and contains the sixth-ranked clubs from each league – Sale Sharks, Munster Rugby and Castres Olympique – as well as Zebre Rugby and the seventh-ranked club from the TOP 14, Bordeaux-Bègles.
When the tiers are completed, the main draw 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.
In Tier 4, Sale Sharks will be drawn into a pool which contains one other Premiership club, and Castres Olympique and Bordeaux-Bègles will be drawn into pools which contain one other TOP 14 club. Munster cannot be drawn into a pool which contains another Irish province.
Harlequins, Cardiff Blues and Brive 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, Bristol Rugby will be drawn into a pool which contains one other Premiership club, and Lyon and Bayonne will be drawn into pools with one other TOP 14 club.
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
European Rugby Challenge Cup final: Friday 12 May, BT Murrayfield Stadium
European Rugby Champions Cup final: Saturday 13 May, BT Murrayfield Stadium [EPCRugby]