The pool draw for the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup will be staged in Lausanne, Switzerland next Wednesday (July 21) at noon (UK time).
The draw will be live-streamed on HeinekenChampionsCup.com when the 24 clubs who have qualified for next season’s tournament from Europe’s three leading professional leagues – including Leicester Tigers – will know their pool stage opponents.
Clubs will be placed into four tiers based on their rankings before being drawn into two pools of 12 – Pool A and Pool B.
Teams from the same league in the same tier will not be drawn into the same pool.
The No1 and 2 ranked clubs from each league will be in Tier 1, the No3 and 4 clubs will be in Tier 2, the No5 and 6 will be in Tier 3, and No7 and number 8 in Tier 4.
Leicester Tigers are ranked No6 in the English clubs after finishing last season in sixth place in the Gallagher Premiership table.
Tier 1 and the Tier 4 clubs which have been drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league, will play one another home and away during the pool stage, as will the Tier 2 and Tier 3 clubs which have been drawn in the same pool, but which are not in the same league.
For example, European and French champions Stade Toulousain will be in Tier 1 and will be drawn against either Bath Rugby or Wasps, and against either Cardiff Rugby or Glasgow Warriors from Tier 4.
Similarly, Bristol Bears in Tier 2 will be drawn against either PRO14 qualifiers, Scarlets or Ospreys, and against either ASM Clermont Auvergne or Stade Français Paris from Tier 3.
Tigers, therefore, will be in Tier 3 and drawn against either Ulster Rugby or Connacht Rugby and against Racing 92 or Union Bordeaux-Bègles from Tier 2.
Once the draw has been concluded, EPCR will work on the fixture schedule with broadcast partners. An announcement of dates, kick-off times and TV coverage will follow as soon as practicable.
The 2021/22 tournament will be played over nine weekends with four rounds of matches in the pool stage starting in December.
The eight highest-ranked clubs from each pool will qualify for the knockout stage which will consist of a Round of 16 on a home-and-away basis, quarter-finals and semi-finals, with the final in Marseille on May 28, 2022.
2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup qualifiers
Gallagher Premiership: 1 Harlequins, 2 Exeter Chiefs, 3 Bristol Bears, 4 Sale Sharks, 5 Northampton Saints, 6 Leicester Tigers, 7 Bath Rugby, 8 Wasps
PRO14: 1 Leinster Rugby, 2 Munster Rugby, 3 Ulster Rugby, 4 Connacht Rugby, 5 Scarlets, 6 Ospreys, 7 Cardiff Rugby, 8 Glasgow Warriors
TOP 14: 1 Stade Toulousain, 2 Stade Rochelais, 3 Racing 92, 4 Union Bordeaux-Bègles, 5 ASM Clermont Auvergne, 6 Stade Français Paris, 7 Castres Olympique, 8 Montpellier Hérault Rugby
Pool Draw tiers
Tier 1: Harlequins, Exeter Chiefs, Leinster Rugby, Munster Rugby, Stade Toulousain, Stade Rochelais
Tier 2: Bristol Bears, Sale Sharks, Ulster Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Racing 92, Union Bordeaux-Bègles
Tier 3: Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers, Scarlets, Ospreys, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Stade Français Paris
Tier 4: Bath Rugby, Wasps, Cardiff Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Castres Olympique, Montpellier Hérault Rugby