Leicester Tigers will learn the identity of their European opponents for the new season when the pool draw for the 2019/20 Challenge Cup takes place in Switzerland at 1pm UK time on Wednesday (June 19).
The 20 clubs have qualified from the leagues across Europe as well as from the Continental Shield and will compete in five pools of four.
The clubs are divided into four tiers based on the qualification positions from their leagues and a draw will be carried out in advance of the pool draw proper to complete the tiers.
Gallagher Premiership qualifiers: Wasps, Bristol Bears, Worcester Warriors, Leicester Tigers, London Irish
TOP14 qualifiers: Castres Olympique, Stade Francais Paris, Toulon, Bordeaux-Bègles, Pau, Agen, Bayonne, Brive
Guinness PRO14 qualifiers: Scarlets, Cardiff Blues, Dragons, Zebre, Edinburgh
Continental Shield qualifiers: Calvisano, Enisei
For the purposes of the draw, the teams are split into four tiers, as follows:
Tier 1: Three top-ranked clubs from the three leagues based on finishing position in 2018/19 (Castres, Wasps, Scarlets) plus two of the second-ranked teams (two from Stade Francais, Bristol, Cardiff Blues).
Tier 2: Three clubs ranked third in the leagues (Toulon, Worcester Warriors, Edinburgh) plus the second-ranked club not drawn into Tier 1 (one from Stade Francais, Bristol, Cardiff Blues) and the club ranked fourth from the same league as that club (from Bordeaux-Begles, Leicester Tigers, Dragons).
Tier 3: Two clubs ranked fourth who are not in Tier 2 (from Bordeaux-Begles, Leicester Tigers, Dragons) plus the three clubs ranked fifth in each league (Pau, London Irish, Zebre).
Tier 4: Remaining clubs from the Top14 (Agen, Bayonne, Brive) and the two qualifiers from the Continental Shield (Calvisano, Enisei).
General principles of the draw:
- Each of the five pools will include one club from each of the four tiers
- Each pool will have at least one club from the TOP14, the Premiership and the PRO14
- There will be no more than two clubs from the same league in a pool
- No pool will contain two PRO14 clubs from the same country
- Clubs from the same league will be kept apart until the Tier 4 allocation
- A qualifier from the Continental Shield cannot be drawn into a pool which contains two TOP14 clubs or two Premiership clubs, and for the purposes of this draw Rugby Calvisano cannot be drawn in to the same pool as Zebre Rugby Club.
- Wednesday’s event at the Centre de Congrès Beaulieu in Lausanne begins at 1.00 UK time with the Challenge Cup draw, with the Heineken Champions Cup draw to follow immediately.
Event comperes are Sarra Elgan (BT Sport) and Matthieu Lartot (France Télévisions), with former internationals Bryan Habana (Channel 4) and Dimitri Yachvili (beIN SPORTS) conducting the draws.
The draw will be streamed live on epcrugby.com and on official tournament Facebook channels, with live broadcasts also on Virgin Media Sport and beIN SPORTS as well as full coverage on the Tigers website and social media pages.
EPCR weekends 2019/20
Round 1: November 15/16/17
Round 2: November 22/23/24
Round 3: December 6/7/8
Round 4: December 13/14/15
Round 5: January 10/11/12
Round 6: January 17/18/19
Quarter-finals: April 3/4/5
Semi-finals: May 1/2/3
Finals (Stade de Marseille): Challenge Cup – Friday, May 22; Heineken Champions Cup – Saturday, May 23