Reigning champions, Toulon, will be the first club allocated a pool for the 2013/14 Heineken Cup when the draw for the composition of the six pools for the 19th tournament takes place at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Wednesday, 5 June (2.30pm).
The pool draw for the 2013/14 Amlin Challenge Cup will also take place in Dublin on the same day and both draws will be streamed live on www.ercrugby.com and will be offered to international broadcasters.
Among the 24 qualified clubs for the Heineken Cup, Toulon are appearing for the first time in Tier 1, along with the 2013 defeated finalists, ASM Clermont Auvergne.
Reigning Amlin Challenge Cup champions, and three-time Heineken Cup winners, Leinster Rugby, remain at the top of the ERC European rankings, and they are joined in Tier 1 by Toulon, Clermont, Toulouse, Munster Rugby and Ulster Rugby.
Once the Tier 1 clubs have each been allocated a different pool, no club from the same tier will be drawn in the same pool, and no pool will have more than one club from the same country with the exception of France, as there are seven French clubs in next season’s tournament.
Racing Metro 92, as the lowest-ranked of the seven French clubs, will be drawn last into a pool with another French club.
Meanwhile, former tournament winners Biarritz Olympique, Bath Rugby, London Wasps and Sale Sharks are among the line-up of 20 Amlin Challenge Cup clubs from six countries who will be keenly awaiting the outcome of the pool draw for the 2013/14 tournament.
Also included are the 2013 defeated finalists, Stade Francais Paris, as well as London Irish and Worcester Warriors who have also been losing finalists.
The Amlin Challenge Cup clubs will be drawn into five pools and each pool will contain four clubs. Each pool will include one club from each of the four tiers and no two clubs from the same country will be drawn in the same pool with the exceptions of France as there are seven French clubs, and England, as there are six English clubs in next season’s tournament.
The tiers are based on the ERC European rankings system over the past four seasons in the Heineken Cup, the knockout stage of the Amlin Challenge Cup, and also on participation in the pool stage of the Amlin Challenge Cup over the same four-season period.
The rankings aim to reward and incentivise clubs who consistently perform at the highest level in European competition over four seasons. For the purposes of the Heineken Cup pool draw, the rankings are used to allocate the clubs which have qualified into four tiers of six clubs and to ensure the highest-ranked clubs are separated in the six pools.
2013/14 Heineken Cup clubs and tiers
Tier 1 – Leinster Rugby, Toulon, Toulouse, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ulster Rugby, Munster Rugby
Tier 2 – Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Cardiff Blues, Saracens, Leicester Tigers, Perpignan
Tier 3 – Edinburgh Rugby, Ospreys, Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors, Montpellier, Connacht Rugby
Tier 4 – Gloucester Rugby, Castres Olympique, Racing Metro 92, Exeter Chiefs, Benetton Treviso, Zebre
• The draw for the 2013/14 Heineken Cup pools will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday, 5 June following the Amlin Challenge Cup draw at 2.30pm
2013/14 Amlin Challenge Cup clubs and tiers
Tier 1 – Biarritz Olympique PB, Stade Francais Paris, London Wasps, Bath Rugby, Brive
Tier 2 – London Irish, Sale Sharks, Newport Gwent Dragons, Newcastle Falcons, Rugby Viadana
Tier 3 – Bayonne, I Cavalieri Prato, Worcester Warriors, Bordeaux-Bègles, Cammi Rugby Calvisano
Tier 4 – Grenoble, Mogliano Rugby, Oyonnax, Bucharest Wolves, Spanish representative
• The draw for the 2013/14 Amlin Challenge Cup pools will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday, 5 June at 2.30pm