Two of the Amlin quarter-final qualifiers - Bath Rugby and London Wasps - have both completed the double of Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup triumphs in their illustrious pasts, and such is the quality of this season's contenders that Gloucester Rugby are the only club in the last eight not yet to have appeared in a Heineken Cup final.
The quarter-finals kick off with the Anglo-French clash of Gloucester - currently in fifth place in the Aviva Premiership - and reigning Amlin Challenge Cup champions, Biarritz Olympique, at Kingsholm on Thursday, 4 April.
The following evening, Amlin Challenge Cup newcomers and three-time Heineken Cup winners, Leinster Rugby, travel to Adams Park to take on a resurgent London Wasps in what promises to be a fascinating contest between two clubs steeped in European history.
Another Amlin Challenge Cup newcomer, Toulouse, will bring all their experience in Europe to bear when they go head-to-head with Perpignan at Stade Aimé Giral before the matches conclude with the last of the quarter-finals which sees 2008 winners and this season's top seed from the pool stage, Bath, up against 2011 runners-up, Stade Francais Paris, at the Recreation Ground on Saturday, 6 April.
All matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sports with additional live coverage on Eurosport France and France 4.
In a British and Irish Lions context, the tourists' Head Coach, Warren Gatland, has significantly decided to wait until after the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup semi-finals on the weekend of 26, 27 and 28 April before announcing his touring party. This is a departure from 2009 when the squad was announced before the semi-finals were played.
Vital ERC European ranking points will also be on offer during the knockout stage of the tournament and the updated points table following the pool stage can be accessed on http://www.ercrugby.com/eng/ranking.php