Munster to learn European fate today

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

The draw for the group stages of the 2015-2016 European Champions Cup takes place in Switzerland today, Wednesday, beginning at 1.15pm
MUNSTER will learn their group opponents for next season’s European Champions Cup when the draw for the pool stages is made in Neuchâtel, Switzerland at 1.15pm today, Wednesday.

MUNSTER will learn their group opponents for next season’s European Champions Cup when the draw for the pool stages is made in Neuchâtel, Switzerland at 1.15pm today, Wednesday.

Two of three sides from PRO12 runners-up Munster, beaten Premiership finalists Bath and Top 14 final loser’s Clermont Auvergne will join PRO12 winners Glasgow Warriors, English champions Saracens and French Top 14 winners Stade Francais as Tier 1 seeds for Wednesday’s draw.

The draw will be streamed live on epcrugby.com with further coverage on btsport.com, and Sky Sports News. The pool draw will be conducted by Challenge Cup winner Dimitri Yachvili and European Cup winner Ieuan Evans.

Twenty clubs from the Aviva Premiership, the Top 14 and the Guinness PRO12 have qualified on merit for the Champions Cup. The clubs will be divided into four tiers of five.

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 - Northampton Saints, RC Toulon and Ospreys - as well as the second-ranked club which was not drawn into Tier 1 and a 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 - Exeter Chiefs, Racing 92 and Leinster Rugby.

Tier 4 will contain the sixth-ranked clubs from the leagues - Wasps, Oyonnax and Scarlets - as well as Benetton Treviso and the winner of the Champions Cup play-offs, Bordeaux-Bègles.

When the tiers are completed, the draw proper 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, Wasps will be drawn into a pool which contains one other Aviva Premiership club and Oyonnax and Bordeaux-Bègles will be drawn into pools which each contain one other Top 14 club.

In Tier 4, Worcester Warriors will be drawn into a pool which contains one other Aviva Premiership club.

The opening pool fixtures in the European Champions Cup is due to take place on the weekend of November 12-15.