The five Pool winners carry on into the knock-out phase, where they will be joined by the three runners-up from the Heineken Cup. The full details of what happens at the end of the Pool stages are as follows.
How they qualify
The five pool winners and three Heineken Cup pool runners-up will qualify for the quarter-finals. The Amlin Challenge Cup pool winners will be decided as follows:
The pool winner will be the club with the highest number of match points in each pool. For the quarter-finals, the pool winners will be ranked 1 to 4 and 8 in reference to the number of match points earned.
Clubs in the same pool If two or more clubs in the same pool are equal on match points, their qualification/ranking will be determined by the matches played between the relevant clubs as follows:
(a) the club with the greater number of match points from those matches (b) the club that scored the most tries in those matches (c) the club with the best aggregate points difference from those matches
Clubs from different pools If qualification/ranking remains unresolved and/or if clubs have not played each other previously in the pool stage, qualification/ranking will be determined as follows:
(a) the number of tries scored in the pool stage (b) the best aggregate points difference from the pool stage (c) the club with the fewest number of players suspended for incidents in the pool stage (d) by drawing lots
Clubs ranked 1 to 4 will have home advantage for the quarter-finals:
Club 1 (ACC 1) v Club 8 (ACC 5)
Club 2 (ACC 2) v Club 7 (HC 3)
Club 3 (ACC 3) v Club 6 (HC 2)
Club 4 (ACC 4) v Club 5 (HC 1)