Thursday, 16 May 2013

Heineken Cup Qualification 2013/2014



After crunching some numbers, depending on results on Friday, this will be the seedings for next year's Heineken Cup.

On Friday, Leinster play Stade Francais in the Amlin Challenge Cup final. Leinster have already qualified for next year's Heineken Cup, but Stade haven't, and a victory for them earns their qualification. If Leinster win, a spot in next year's qualification goes to Connacht by virtue of them being the only team in their country not to have qualified so far.

On Saturday, Toulon play Clermont in an all French final. Both teams have already qualified, so there's one spot up for grabs.

Here's where things get slightly complicated. French and English clubs are capped at 7 for the Heineken Cup, i.e. both countries can only have 6 or 7. So, if Stade Francais win on Friday night, they will enter next season's Heineken Cup as the 7th French team. This means that the spot that would usually go to the first French team that haven't qualified because of their domestic position (Perpignan), would actually go to the highest ERC ranked team that hasn't qualified but is eligible. (Wasps)

Which means:
On Friday night:
A Leinster win - Connacht and Perpignan are through to the Heineken Cup
A Stade win - Stade and Wasps are through to the Heineken Cup.

i.e. Nothing depends on Saturday

Got it?

Therefore the seedings for next year's competition will be:

1st Seeds (1-6)

1. Leinster
2. Clermont /Toulon (The winners on Saturday will move to 2nd, but it has no realistic effect)
3. Toulouse
4. Toulon / Clermont
5. Munster
6. Ulster / Stade (If Stade win on Friday, they'll move to 6th, relegating Ulster to 2nd seeds)

2nd Seeds (7-12)

7. Ulster / Northampton
8. Northampton / Harlequins
9. Harlequins / Cardiff
10. Cardiff / Saracens
11. Saracens / Leicester
12. Leicester / Perpignan (If Leinster win, Perpignan sneak in here, which lifts Ulster up to 1st seeds, as Stade won't qualify)

3rd Seeds (13-18)

13. Edinburgh
14. Wasps / Ospreys (If Wasps get in)
15. Ospreys / Scarlets
16. Scarlets / Glasgow
17. Glasgow/ Montpeiller
18. Montpeiller / Connacht (It's between Wasps / Connacht)

4th Seeds (19-24)

19. Gloucester
20. Castres
21. Racing
22. Exeter
23. Treviso
24. Zebre

Meaning there could be a group of:

Leinster
Harlequins
Glasgow
Racing

or a group of:
Stade
Perpignan
Edinburgh
Zebre