Toulon to get Euro draw underway
Toulon to get Euro draw underwaySHARE
The ERC has announced the respective tiers for teams ahead of the upcoming European Cup and Challenge Cup pool draws.
Reigning champions, Toulon, will be the first club allocated a pool for the 2013/14 European Cup when the draw for the composition of the six pools for the 19th tournament takes place at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Wednesday, June 5. The pool draw for the 2013/14 Challenge Cup will also take place in Dublin on the same day.
Among the 24 qualified clubs for the European Cup, Toulon are appearing for the first time in Tier 1, along with the defeated 2013 finalists, Clermont.
Reigning Challenge Cup champions, and three-time European Cup winners, Leinster, remain at the top of the ERC European rankings, and they are joined in Tier 1 by Toulon, Clermont, Toulouse, Munster and Ulster.
Once the Tier 1 clubs have each been allocated a different pool, no club from the same tier will be drawn in the same pool, and no pool 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, as the lowest-ranked of the seven French clubs, will be drawn last into a pool with another French club.
Meanwhile, former tournament winners Biarritz, Bath, London Wasps and Sale Sharks are among the line-up of 20 Challenge Cup clubs from six countries who will be keenly awaiting the outcome of the pool draw for the 2013/14 tournament.
Also included are the defeated 2013 finalists, Stade Francais, as well as London Irish and Worcester Warriors, who have also been losing finalists.
The Challenge Cup clubs will be drawn into five pools and each pool will contain four clubs. Each pool will include one club from each of the four tiers and no two clubs from the same country will be drawn in the same pool with the exceptions of France as there are seven French clubs, and England, as there are six English clubs in next season’s tournament.
The tiers are based on the ERC European rankings system over the past four seasons in the European Cup, the knockout stage of the Challenge Cup, and also on participation in the pool stage of the Challenge Cup over the same four-season period.
The rankings aim to reward and incentivise clubs which consistently perform at the highest level in European competition over four seasons.
For the purposes of the European 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.
2013/14 European Cup clubs and tiers:
Tier 1 – Rugby, Toulon, Toulouse, Clermont, Ulster, Munster
Tier 2 – Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Cardiff Blues, Saracens, Leicester Tigers, Perpignan
Tier 3 – Edinburgh, Ospreys, Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors, Montpellier, Connacht
Tier 4 – Gloucester, Castres, Racing Metro, Exeter Chiefs, Treviso, Zebre
2013/14 Challenge Cup clubs and tiers:
Tier 1 – Biarritz, Stade Francais Paris, London Wasps, Bath, Brive
Tier 2 – London Irish, Sale Sharks, Newport Gwent Dragons, England (TBC), Viadana
Tier 3 – Bayonne, I Cavalieri Prato, Worcester Warriors, Bordeaux-Bègles, Cammi Calvisano
Tier 4 – Grenoble, Mogliano, Oyonnax, Bucharest Wolves, Spanish representative