This weekend will be the last round of European Pool Matches. As the official ball supplier of the Heineken Champions Cup, we look forward to watching the final race for the quarter-final spots.
With 5 pools competing, the first-placed teams will be directly qualified, while only three of the second-placed sides will qualify. Qualification is determined by total points, then points difference, if necessary. Teams in the same pool are separated first by match points, followed by head-to-head record. If the head-to-head record is equal, they are then separated by points aggregate followed by most tries scored within those matches.
Leinster Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Racing 92 and Toulouse are already qualified for the next stage but no club has yet secured a home quarter-final. Meanwhile, there are still seven teams competing for the remaining three qualification spots.
Here is how it’s stands at the moment:
After a 42-14 victory over Lyon last weekend, Leinster will try to maintain their perfect Heineken Champions Cup record in their last fixture against Benetton. They are likely to finish as number one seeds with near maximum points from their six games.
Northampton are assured of a second place finish in Pool 1 but are fighting for progression with teams from other groups. They will need to secure one of the three best runner-up places if they are to progress for the first time since 2016. The French side Lyon could offer them a challenge, even if they realistically have nothing to play for.
With Exeter Chiefs taking top spot in Pool 2, Glasgow Warriors and La Rochelle are still fighting for a second place finish.
Glasgow Warriors could get to 17 points with a bonus-point win at Sale, meanwhile, La Rochelle, two points off the pace of second place, will travel to Exeter.
The Pool 3 winners will be determined this Saturday, when Ulster host Bath Rugby and Clermont travel to Harlequins.
The Irish province are currently the highest-ranked runner-up on 17 points, three ahead of Gloucester, Saracens and Northampton Saints, and five in front of Glasgow, with three runner-up places to be filled for the quarter-finals.
With 3 points of difference on the pool table, Saracens and Munster are also competing for a second place finish after Racing 92, already qualified for the quarter-finals.
Saracens need to win at home to the French club in order to qualify, while Munster could get to 16 points with a bonus point win at Ospreys. However, both clubs can only get an away Champions Cup quarter final at the most.
Gloucester remain in contention to reach the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals with one Pool Five game left away to Toulouse. While Toulouse remain unbeaten and have already secured top spot in Pool Five.
It is set to be a thrilling weekend of action!