European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) have confirmed the format for the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup with Cardiff facing a touch draw.
The top eight clubs from each of the Gallagher Premiership, Top14 and Guinness Pro14 have been ranked based on their league finishing positions, with the top two sides in tier one, third and fourth sides in tier two, fifth and sixth sides in tier three, and bottom two sides in tier four.
This means Cardiff will be in tier four as the seventh ranked qualifier from last season’s Top14.
The 24 clubs will then be split into two pools of 12, made up of three teams from each league from each of the four tiers. Fixtures will then see the tier one sides face the tier four sides who are not in their domestic league in home and away games, with the top eight qualifying from each pool to a two-legged round of 16.
From there it is a regular knockout format with one-legged quarter-finals and semi-finals before the Final in Marseille next May.
With Cardiff in tier four it means we will face the tier one sides in our pool, and as a result will one finalist from each of the Top14 and Premiership. So our home and away fixtures will be against either Harlequins or Exeter and Toulouse or La Rochelle.
The draw to confirm our opponents will be made on Wednesday 21st July at 12pm. It will be streamed live on epcrugby.com
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