Cardiff Rugby will enter the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup as the seventh-ranked team from the United Rugby Championship as the key European dates are confirmed for next season.
With the flagship European competition staying at 24 teams, the Welsh capital club qualify courtesy of finishing fourth in the Guinness Pro14’s Conference B this year, the first time we’ve returned to the top table since 2018/19.
Despite finishing on the same amount of points as the Ospreys we will be ranked below them due to finishing with a slightly worse points difference, with Glasgow Warriors ranked below us.
The format of next season’s Heineken Cup will be different from our last appearance in the competition, with just four rounds of pool games taking place across December and January, before a two-legged round of 16 in April is followed by the quarter-final, semi-final and Final in May.
Exactly how the pool stage will work remains to be seen, while negotiations continue over the format of the competition from 2022/23 onwards as the South African sides of the URC prepare to enter.
2021/22 EPCR weekends
Round 1 – 10/11/12 December
Round 2 – 17/18/19 December
Round 3 – 14/15/16 January 2022
Round 4 – 21/22/23 January 2022
Round of 16 (1st leg) – 8/9/10 April 2022
Round of 16 (2nd leg) – 15/16/17 April 2022
Quarter-finals – 6/7/8 May 2022
Semi-finals – 13/14/15 May 2022
Heineken Champions Cup final – Saturday 28 May 2022; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille