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The four Irish provinces will find out their Heineken Champions Cup pool stage opponents at the end of October.

The EPCR have confirmed that the draw for the new-look 2020/21 pool stage will take place on Wednesday, October 28th in Lausanne in Switzerland.

As previously announced, the new format will see 24 clubs made up of eight teams from each of the PRO14, Top 14 and Premiership, who will be drawn into two groups of 12.

The clubs ranked in the top two of their domestic league will be classified as Tier 1 sides, and will play their games against Tier 4 sides - who finished 7th and 8th in their respective competition.

Leinster and Ulster have been confirmed as the PRO14's Tier 1 representatives and will have Toulouse, Montpellier, Gloucester and the Northampton Saints as potential opposition.

Munster's PRO14 semi-final defeat to Leinster means they will be a Tier 2 side, and will play their games against Tier 3 opposition. Their fixtures could be against either the Sale Sharks or Harlequins, as well as one of Clermont or La Rochelle - which would bring Ronan O'Gara back to Thomond Park.

Connacht will have to wait for this weekend's final before finding out which four teams they could face. As things stand, the Tier 3 side will have one of Bath or Bristol as their English opponents - meaning a possible clash with Pat Lam and John Muldoon of the Bears.

Toulon are guaranteed to be one of their potential French opponents, along with either Racing 92 or Lyon. Racing are currently listed as a Tier 2 side, but would climb into Tier 1 if they beat Exeter in this Saturday's Champions Cup final. Should that happen, Lyon would drop back to Tier 2 as potential opposition for Connacht.

The opening round of games are due to take place on the weekend of December 12th.

QUALIFIED CLUBS:

TIER 1: Leinster, Ulster, Exeter, Wasps, Bordeaux-Begles, Lyon/Racing 92

TIER 2: Edinburgh, Munster, Bristol, Bath, Racing 92/Lyon, Toulon

TIER 3: Scarlets, Connacht, Harlewquins, Sale Sharks, La Rochelle, Clermont Auvergne

TIER 4: Glasgow Warriors, Dragons, Toulouse, Montpellier, Gloucester, Northampton Saints

Team of Us. Everyone In.

Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team


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Connacht Rugby European Heineken Champions Cup Heineken Champions Cup John Muldoon Leinster Rugby Munster Rugby Pat Lam Ronan O'gaa Ulster Rugby

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