Three-time tournament winners, Leinster Rugby, need just one point from their Round 6 game against Ospreys at the RDS to top Pool 1, while if Saracens manage to see off the challenge of Connacht Rugby at Alliianz Park next Saturday, they will join Toulouse as qualifiers from Pool 3.
Meanwhile, Northampton Saints are still in the mix to secure their place in the knockout stage of Europe's premier club rugby tournament but they will probably need to defeat Castres Olympique with a bonus point at Franklin's Gardens in the their final Pool 1 fixture and hope that Leinster slip up.
With the third, fourth and fifth best Heineken Cup pool runners-up qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup, Northampton are also in contention here along with Cardiff Blues, Edinburgh Rugby, Harlequins, Connacht Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Scarlets, Gloucester Rugby, Exeter Chiefs and Castres Olympique.
They are in the running to join Bath Rugby and London Wasps who have already booked their spots in the Amlin Challenge Cup last eight.
With the top four ranked pool winners in the Heineken Cup securing prized home quarter-finals, and with €7 million (euro) to be shared in meritocracy payments among the countries of the clubs who qualify for the knockout stages of ERC's tournaments, the stakes are as high as ever as the tension and drama of Round 6 approaches.
Current qualification standings are:
|Overall Pos||Pool||Team||Pool Pos||Points||Tries For||Pts Diff|
|1 q||5||ULSTER RUGBY||1||22||16||+114|
|2 Q||2||TOULON||1||20||15||+ 59|
|2 q||3||TOULOUSE||1||19||15||+ 70|
|4 Q||4||ASM CLERMONT AUVERGNE||1||19||13||+ 45|
|5 Q||6||MUNSTER RUGBY||1||18||13||+ 52|
|6||1||LEINSTER RUGBY||1||17||11||+ 53|
|7 q||5||LEICESTER TIGERS||2||20||15||+ 50|
|9||1||Northampton Saints||2||13||10||- 7|
|10||2||Cardiff Blues||2||13||9||- 23|
|11||6||Edinburgh Rugby||2||12||10||- 5|
|13||3||Connacht Rugby||3||13||7||+ 12|
|14||2||Glasgow Warriors||3||10||11||- 25|
|16||6||Gloucester Rugby||3||9||8||- 19|
|17||1||Castres Olympique||3||9||5||- 16|
|19||2||Exeter Chiefs||4||8||10||- 11|
|21||4||Racing Metro 92||4||7||5||- 40|
|23||5||Benetton Treviso||4||0||2||- 143|
Q = Qualified for Heineken Cup quarter-finals as Pool winner
q = Qualified for Heineken Cup quarter-finals as best runner up at least
Underlined Teams = Currently in 8 Heineken Cup qualifying positions
Bold Italics Teams = Currently in 3 Amlin Challenge Cup qualifiying positions
How They Qualify
(i) The pool winner will be the club with the highest number of match points earned in each pool. The best-placed runners-up will be the two clubs with the highest number of match points out of the six clubs that finish second in their respective pools. For the quarter-finals, the pool winners will be ranked 1 to 6 in terms of the number of points earned. The runners-up will be ranked 7 and 8. Note: Runners-up ranked 9, 10 and 11 will qualify for the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals
Clubs in Same Pool
(ii) if two or more clubs are equal on points and the clubs are in the same pool, then qualification / ranking will be determined by the matches played between the clubs concerned as follows: (a) the club which has earned the most number of match points from the matches (b) the club which has scored the most tries in the matches (c) the club with the best aggregate points difference from the matches
Clubs in Different Pools
(iii) if still unresolved, or if the 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 all pool matches (b) aggregate points difference from all pool matches (c) the club with the fewest number of players sent off and/or suspended in all pool matches (d) drawing lots
Clubs ranked 1 to 4 will have home advantage.
The quarter-finals will be: Club 1 v Club 8; Club 2 v Club 7; Club 3 v Club 6; Club 4 v Club 5