Heineken Cup & Amlin Super Sunday to map our road to Dublin 2013: 14 Clubs Still In For Qualification!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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As another dramatic conclusion to the Heineken Cup pool stage approaches, as many as 14 clubs remain in contention for a place in the knockout stage of the world’s most competitive club rugby tournament.

See attached the 14 clubs ranked in order of current standings

Tensions are bound to be as high right until the final whistle of Sunday’s showdown between Leicester Tigers and Toulouse at Welford Road when the eight quarter-finalists will be revealed.

A further three Heineken Cup clubs will qualify for the Amlin Challenge Cup along with the five pool winners from ERC’s second tournament, and the fortunate clubs who will continue their quest for European silverware won’t have to wait much longer to find out their possible routes to the Dublin 2013 European club rugby finals next May.

The semi-final draws to determine who the winners of each quarter-final will meet in the 2012/13 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals will be made at Welford Road on Sunday directly following the clash of the two former European champions.

The draws will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, on Canal Groupe’s infosport+ in France, and on ercrugby.com from approximately 17.05 (UK/Irish time).

Ieuan Evans, a Heineken Cup winner with Bath Rugby (1998), and ERC Chairman, Jean-Pierre Lux, will conduct the semi-final draws which will also decide which clubs will have ‘home country’ advantage in the Heineken Cup semi-finals which are scheduled for the weekend of the 26/27/28 April at venues designated by ERC.

The Amlin Challenge Cup draw will confirm which quarter-final winners will earn the right to host their semi-finals at home venues on the same weekend in April.

With only a three-week window between the quarter-finals and the semi-finals, the early staging of the draw allows ERC to select possible semi-final venues in advance of the quarter-finals, and for the clubs and ERC to begin planning in order to maximise the semi-final occasions.

The line-up for the Heineken Cup quarter-finals will be complete when the six pool winners and the two best runners-up making up the eight clubs in the knockout stage are known. The quarter-final line-up pits the No 1 seeds against the No 8 seeds, followed by 2 v 7, 3 v 6 and 4 v 5.

The clubs confirmed as quarter-finalists to date are: Pool 3 – Harlequins (winners); Pool 4 – Ulster Rugby (winners); Pool 5 – ASM Clermont Auvergne (winners); Pool 6 – Toulon (runner-up or pool winner).

The Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals will be made up of five pool winners and three Heineken Cup pool runners-up with the line-up as follows: ACC 1 v ACC 5, ACC 2 v Heineken Cup 3, ACC 3 v Heineken Cup 1 and ACC 4 v Heineken Cup 1.

The clubs confirmed as quarter-finalists to date are: Pool 1 – Gloucester Rugby (winners); Pool 2 – Perpignan (winners); Pool 3 – London Wasps (winners); Pool 4 – Bath Rugby (winners).

Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup Semi-Final Draws format

• Each of the four quarter-finals will be represented by a ball
• Quarter-final 1: Club 1 v Club 8; Quarter-final 2: Club 2 v Club 7; Quarter-final 3: Club 3 v Club 6; Quarter-final 4: Club 4 v Club 5
• The four balls corresponding to each quarter-final will then be drawn in turn
• The winners of the first quarter-final drawn will face the winners of the second quarter-final selected
• The winners of the third quarter-final selected will play the winners of the fourth quarter-final selected
• In the Heineken Cup draw, the winners of the first and third quarter-finals drawn will have home country advantage in the semi-finals, where relevant
• In the Amlin Challenge Cup draw, the winners of the first and third quarter-finals drawn will have home advantage in the semi-finals.

The road to the Dublin 2013 European club rugby finals


SEMI-FINALS: 26/27/28 April


Amlin Challenge Cup final – RDS, Friday, 17 May (20.00)

Heineken Cup final – Aviva Stadium, Saturday, 18 May (17.00)

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