Heineken Cup picture almost complete
May 24, 2009
The competition for places in next season's Heineken Cup is still on © Getty Images
Benetton Treviso have become the latest side to book a place in next season's Heineken Cup following their 15-6 victory over Calvisano in their Super 10 semi-final clash.
The victory not only set up a final date with Viadana but also guaranteed them a place amongst the elite next season alongside their title rivals.
Elsewhere, Northampton secured their place in Europe's premier club competition with a hard-fought victory over Bourgoin in the European Challenge Cup Final on Friday night.
Aside from ending the Top 14 side's hopes of stepping up to the Heineken Cup next season, that result also ended the hopes of English Premiership giants and twice European champions Wasps.
Newport Gwent Dragons, who finished ninth in the Magners table, face a play-off against Calvisano on May 29 for the last of the 24 spots available in the 2009-10 competition.
Leinster's victory over Leicester in this season's finale at Twickenham on Saturday underlined their Tier One status next season where they will be joined by Munster, Toulouse, Leicester, Bath and Biarritz, with these sides being kept apart in the pool stages.
The draw for the 2009-10 tournament will take place in Paris in the week commencing June 8, with the final set to take place at the Stade de France on May 22, 2010.
Tournament organisers will officially launch their ticket sales campaign for the 2010 Heineken Cup final on Monday hoping for another rush for tickets. Saturday's Edinburgh final was the fastest selling final in the tournament's history and the 66,523 gate was the sixth highest in 14 years.
Heineken Cup qualifiers 2009-10:
England: Leicester Tigers, Harlequins, London Irish, Bath Rugby, Sale Sharks, Gloucester Rugby, Northampton Saints.
France: Perpignan, Toulouse, Stade Francais Paris, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Biarritz, Brive.
Ireland: Munster, Leinster, Ulster
Italy : Viadana, Benetton Treviso
Scotland Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors
Wales (3 of 3): Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, Scarlets.
To qualify: Newport Gwent Dragons or Calvisano (May 29)
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden
In the blink of an eye, a winger can go from a hero to villain. Hugh Godwin talks to Zac Guildford and David Strettle about life on the flank
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time