Munster to learn Heineken Cup fate

Munster's Mike Sherry
MUNSTER will learn their Heineken Cup pool opponents for next season’s competition this Wednesday when the draw is made at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

MUNSTER will learn their Heineken Cup pool opponents for next season’s competition this Wednesday when the draw is made at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Two-time Heineken Cup winners Munster are classed as a Tier 1 side for the draw, meaning Rob Penney’s side cannot be drawn in the same pool as holders Toulon, fellow French sides Clermont and Toulouse or two Irish provinces, Leinster and Ulster.

Munster are currently 11th favourites in the betting at odds of 25/1 to land the Heineken Cup next season. The betting market is headed by this season’s beaten finalists, Clermont, who are available at 7/2.

The Tiers for the competition 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.

No pool in this week’s 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.

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 will be streamed live on www.ercrugby.com on Wednesday afternoon from 2.30pm

Best case scenario

Munster

Perpignan

Edinburgh

Zebre

Worst case scenariO

Munster

Leicester Tigers

Ospreys

Racing Metro 92