The EPCR have revealed their revised format for the Heineken Champions Cup, with Leinster and Munster both guaranteed home ties in the last 16.

In January, the Champions and Challenge Cups were both suspended temporarily following a directive from the French government regarding the participation of the country's clubs in both competitions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The EPCR said at the time that they remained committed to resuming the competitions "as soon as practicable" and have today announced that both tournaments will resume on the weekend of 2/3/4 April.

The pool stages have been cut short in favour of moving straight to knock-out fixtures and the draws for the novel last-16 and quarter-final matches will take place on Tuesday 9 March.

Leinster and Munster will be at home because they won both pool matches they had played prior to the suspension. Connacht and Ulster both drop into the last 16 of the Challenge Cup having lost their two Champions Cup pool clashes.

The eight highest-ranked clubs in Pool A and the eight highest-ranked clubs in Pool B at the time of the suspension of the tournament qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup, with the bottom four from each pool going to the Challenge Cup.

In a statement, the EPCR said: "A further agreed key principle of the Heineken Champions Cup draw will ensure that clubs which have won both pool stage matches on the pitch - ie where results were not impacted by Covid-19 - will play at home in the Round of 16.

"Therefore, Racing 92, Leinster Rugby, Wasps, Bordeaux-Bègles and Munster Rugby will each be guaranteed a home fixture.

"The clubs which are not drawn against either Racing 92, Leinster, Wasps, Bordeaux-Begles or Munster will have their opponents, and whether they will be playing at home or away, determined as part of the draw."


Heineken Champions Cup: Racing 92, Leinster, Wasps, Bordeaux-Begles, Munster, Lyon, Toulouse, La Rochelle, Scarlets, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Bristol Bears, Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh, Gloucester, RC Toulon, Sale Sharks

* Racing 92, Leinster, Wasps, Bordeaux-Bègles and Munster are guaranteed home matches in the last 16.

Challenge Cup: London Irish, Ospreys, Leicester Tigers, Cardiff Blues, Zebre, Agen, Benetton, Newcastle Falcons, Ulster, Connacht, Northampton Saints, Bath, Montpellier, Dragons, Harlequins, Glasgow Warriors

* London Irish, Ospreys and Leicester Tigers are guaranteed home matches in the last 16.

Knockout stage draws: Tuesday 9 March
Rounds of 16: 2/3/4 April
Quarter-finals: 9/10/11 April
Semi-finals: 30 April - 1/2 May
Challenge Cup final: Marseille, Friday 21 May
Heineken Champions Cup final: Marseille, Saturday 22 May