The Heineken Cup Pool draw takes place on Tuesday (11am) with live coverage on ercrugby.com. Follow every step in the process with ercrugby.com's guide to the draw.
Heineken Cup 2009/10 Teams and Tiers TIER 1
Munster, Leicester Tigers, Leinster, Toulouse, Bath Rugby, Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque
Cardiff Blues, Stade Français Paris, Gloucester Rugby, Perpignan, Ospreys, London Irish
Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Scarlets, Ulster Rugby, Newport Gwent Dragons
Harlequins, Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh, Benetton Treviso, Brive, Viadana
Heineken Cup Pool Draw Format
• For the purpose of the draw the 24 qualified teams are ranked based on their ERC European rankings and are divided into four Tiers. Rankings are based on European performance over the past four seasons in the Heineken Cup and knock-out stages of the European Challenge Cup.
• Each Pool will have one team from each of the four Tier levels.
• No two teams from the same country will be drawn in the same Pool except for the seventh club from England (Harlequins based on European Ranking) which will be drawn into a Pool with another English team.
• The winner of the Heineken Cup will be seeded in the first Tier and will be drawn into a Pool first.
• The draw will have four stages starting with the allocation of six teams from Tier 1 and then moving to the next Tier.
• Allocation of Tier 1 - The Number 1 ranked team (Leinster Heineken Cup champions) will be drawn into one of the six Pools. The remaining five top Tier teams will then be drawn into the five Pool spots left available.
• For the Allocation of Tier 2, 3 and 4, the teams will be drawn starting with the teams from the country with the highest number of teams participating in the tournament England.
Therefore the order of allocation in each Tier will be teams from England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy until all teams in the Tier have been drawn.
Note as Scotland and Italy both have two teams competing, the Scottish teams will be drawn first as they are ranked higher than either Italian side.
• During each Tier allocation a team will be drawn and then a Pool number for that team from the available Pool options.
• In Tier 4 the seventh English team (Harlequins based on ranking) will be drawn into the Pools last.
• To avoid having two teams from the same country in the same Pool, some teams may be allocated to available Pool spots automatically during the course of the Draw.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.