The draw for the 2016/17 Champions Cup takes place later on today at 1.00pm and below is the who, the what, the where and the how of the event which takes place in the EPCR offices in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

Champions Cup Draw – How Can I Watch It and Where?

The draw will get underway with the pool draw for the 2016/17 Challenge Cup at 1.00pm and the draw for the Champions Cup pools will follow immediately after.

You can follow all the news as it happens on the Leinster Rugby twitter feed and we will also have post-draw reaction on from Leo Cullen. 

Both draws will be broadcast on Sky Sports News, beIN Sports and Infosport+ and streamed live on

Champions Cup Teams – Who Have Qualified?

Twenty clubs from the Guinness PRO12, the Aviva Premiership and the TOP 14 have qualified on merit for the Champions Cup. They are: 

Guinness PRO12 Clubs: Connacht Rugby, Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Ulster Rugby, Scarlets, Munster Rugby, Zebre 

Aviva Premiership Clubs: Saracens, Exeter Chiefs, Wasps, Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks 

TOP 14 Clubs: Racing, Toulon, Clermont, Montpellier, Toulouse, Castres Olympique, Bordeaux-Begles  

Champions Cup Seeding – How Are The Clubs Seeded?

The 20 clubs will be divided into four tiers of five with the winners of the three domestic competitions – Connacht Rugby, Saracens and Racing – automatically in Tier 1.

A preliminary draw will be conducted to establish the final two teams in Tier 1 with two of the three second-ranked clubs – Leinster Rugby, Exeter Chiefs and Toulon – joining Connacht, Saracens and Racing 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.

Champions Cup Draw – How Is It Made?

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.

Champions Cup Key Principles – What Are They?

  • 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.
  • There will be no more than two clubs from the same league in a pool.
  • No pool will contain two PRO12 clubs from the same country.
  • Clubs from the same league will be kept apart until the allocation of the Tier 4 clubs.

Champions Cup Rounds – When Do We Play?

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

Champions Cup Final – Do We Know Where And When? 

Yes, the Champions Cup Final will be played in BT Murrayfield on Saturday 13th May 2017. 

Let the games begin!