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)
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin