European Rugby Champions Cup draw to take place on Wednesday
Last Updated: 29/06/16 2:29pm
Saracens, Connacht and Racing 92 will be guaranteed top seedings when the pool draw for the European Rugby Champions Cup takes place in Neuchatel, Switzerland on Wednesday.
Twenty clubs from the Premiership, PRO12 and Top 14 have qualified on merit for the Champions Cup.
The clubs will be divided into four tiers of five and a preliminary draw will be conducted to establish Tier 1 with two of the three second-ranked clubs - Exeter Chiefs, Leinster and Toulon - joining the three champion sides 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 three leagues - Wasps, Glasgow Warriors and 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 and Castres - as well as Zebre Rugby and the seventh-ranked club from the Top 14, Bordeaux-Begles.
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 will be drawn into a pool which contains one other Premiership club, and Castres and Bordeaux 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 qualification
Harlequins, Cardiff Blues and Brive are confirmed among the Tier 1 clubs for the Challenge Cup draw, which will be conducted on similar lines with four tiers and five pools.
In Tier 4, Premiership new boys Bristol will be drawn into a pool which contains one other Premiership club, and Lyon and Bayonne will be drawn into pools with one other Top 14 club.
Challenge Cup qualification
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Watch the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup live on Sky Sports. The 2016/17 Challenge Cup will kick off on the October 14 with the final being held on the May 13, 2017 at Murrayfield.