Munster and Ulster are guaranteed to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Heineken Champions Cup after round three but Leinster and Connacht still have work to do.

In total eight teams from each of the 12-team pools qualify for the round of 16, which, if all goes to plan, will be a two-legged affair consisting of home and away fixtures that, unusually for rugby, will operate an aggregate scoring system.

They are scheduled for the weekend of 8/9/10 April. After that, it's back to regular quarter and semi-finals, with the highest seeds still in the competition getting home advantage.

Here we look at the state of affairs on the road to Marseille and who needs what from the final round next weekend.


Pool A

Ulster v Clermont, Kingspan, 5.30pm Saturday

Qualified with a 100% record and 14 points in the bag, Dan McFarland's side are second in Pool A, behind Racing 92 on points difference following Sunday's fine win away to the Saints.

Racing are at home to Northampton, who have an outside chance of qualification, so the Paris side would be favourites to top the pool.

Ulster host seventh-placed Clermont, who need a win to ensure qualification, on Saturday evening.

La Rochelle could overtake Ulster if they beat Glasgow away and Ulster don’t get at least two points against ASM.

Bath v Leinster, The Rec, 1pm Saturday

With hopes fading of getting the 28-0 walkover round two loss changed to a 0-0, the maximum Leinster can achieve is 15 points.

Qualification will be guaranteed if they manage to take a solitary point from The Rec but they have their sights set on a better seeding.

If they get a bonus-point win away to Bath – and there’s a good chance they can achieve that – they will then hope that Racing, Ulster and La Rochelle stutter in some way in their respective games against Northampton, Clermont and Glasgow.

The 89-7 win over Montpellier puts Leo Cullen’s side in a favourable position if they finish level with another side in the pool and it comes down to points difference.

Cullen spoke at length last week about getting EPCR to have another look at the walkover decision but admitted there's no current appeal process available.


Pool B

Munster v Wasps, Thomond Park, 3.15pm Sunday

Two-time champions Munster are safely through with a round to spare after their gutsy 16-13 win over Castres.

Three wins from three sees Munster sit third in Pool B with a capital 'Q' next to their name. Johann van Graan’s men have 13 points, with Harlequins and Leicester ahead of them on 14. Bristol have 12 points.

They can reach 18 points by beating Wasps at home on Sunday with a bonus point.

In order to finish top, and secure home quarter and semi-finals should they get that far, they need Castres to beat Harlequins at the Stoop, and for Bordeaux-Begles to beat Leicester at Welford Road. Holding on to third spot seems the likeliest outcome.

Stade Francais v Connacht, Stade Jean-Bouin, 1pm Sunday

Despite losing to a late try against Leicester Tigers on Saturday, Connacht will secure a knock-out place if they pick up a point away to Stade on Sunday afternoon.

Andy Friend’s men are currently sixth in Pool B with eight points thanks to the bonus point win over the Parisians and the three bonus points from the two matches with the Premiership leaders.

If Connacht win with a bonus they could reach the top four, albeit that realistically needs Bristol to return from their trip to Scarlets with nothing. Bordeaux could scupper that long shot with a surprise result in Leicester, too.

Stade can still qualify, and a five-point victory could see them reach seventh but they would need a slip-up from Toulouse at home to Cardiff.

However, they will reckon Munster can do a job at home to Wasps so won’t lack motivation against Connacht.


Follow Bath v Leinster (Saturday, 1pm), Ulster v Clermont (Saturday, 5.30pm), Stade v Connacht (Sunday, 1pm) and Munster v Wasps (Sunday, 3.15pm) via our live blogs on or on the RTÉ News App, or listen to live radio coverage of Bath v Leinster on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and RTÉ Radio 1.