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Heineken Cup
European ranking points on offer
Scrum.com
January 15, 2009

While Europe's elite teams will be fighting for Heineken Cup quarter-final places this weekend, there are also valuable rankings points on offer that can improve a club's draw for next season's competition.

ERC ranking points are handed out to reward the most consistent sides in Europe, with teams able to collect up to 11 points for their finishing position in the Heineken Cup and five in the European Challenge Cup. Leading teams in the points system over the past four seasons will automatically avoid one another in next year's draw.

The rankings will determine four tiers of six teams, with the Heineken Cup winners automatically taking top spot in tier one alongside the five most successful teams in Europe. One team from each of the six tiers will then be placed into each of the groups for next season's competition.

Teams will also not be drawn against another side from their home country, unless seven sides qualify from England or France. Sides therefore have a genuine incentive to finish as high as possible in their Pools, and emerging sides will have a chance to build their seeding with strong performances in the European Challenge Cup.

HEINEKEN CUP

(Points per stage - Total points)

Winner - 2 - 10 / 11

Finalist - 2 - 8 / 9

Semi-finalist - 2 - 6 / 7

Quarter-finalist - 1 - 4 / 5

Pool winner - 4

Pool runner-up - 3

Pool third - 2

Pool fourth - 1

EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP

(Points per stage - Total points)

Winner - 2 - 5

Finalist - 1 - 3

Semi-finalist - 1 - 2

Quarter-finalist - 1 - 1

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