Heineken Cup

The Heineken Cup is the highest European Cup competition in Rugby Union, where the best teams from England, France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy are eligible ( the so-called Six Nations ). Main sponsor since the inaugural tournament in the Dutch brewer Heineken. Due to stricter alcohol advertising laws competition in France is known as the H Cup. It was launched in the summer of 1995 by the Commission of the then Five Nations (still without Italy) to life and does not fall within the competence of the European Association FIRA -AER.



The 24 starting places in the Heineken Cup will be distributed among the six nations involved as follows:

  • France: Places 1-6 in the Top 14
  • England: Places 1-6 in the Aviva Premiership or places 1-5 plus winner of the Anglo -Welsh Cup, if this is a English team
  • Ireland: The top three teams in the Irish Magners League
  • Wales: The Welsh three best teams in the Magners League
  • Scotland: The two Scottish teams in the Magners League
  • Italy: The two Italian teams in the Magners League

The remaining two starting places will be allocated as follows:

  • Current winners of the Heineken Cup
  • Current winners of the Amlin Challenge Cup

Previously, the remaining two places were awarded as follows:

  • A team came from France, England or Italy; the starting place went to that country, whose representatives have advanced furthest in the preseason in the Heineken Cup.
  • The other team was the third-placed team in the Italian Super winner of a play-off between the top-ranked team in the Magners League, which had not already qualified, and 10

Teams of six participating countries that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup, participate in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Group stage and quarter-finals

There shall be six groups of four teams. Each team will play one home and one away match against all opponents in the group. For a victory, there are four points, two points for a draw. If a game with less than seven points difference lost or achieved a team of at least four experiments, there is a bonus point

The six group winners ( the number of points obtained in the squares 1-6 classified) and the two best runners- conditioned squash courts ( 7-8 classified) will qualify for the quarter-finals. Teams ranked 1-4 will enjoy home advantage. It play the first against the Eighth, the second against the Seventh, the third party against the Sixth and Fourth against the fifth.

Semifinals and finals

All games are usually held on "neutral " ground. However, it may happen that a team still plays in their city, just in a different stadium than usual.

A semi-final stages must accommodate at least 20,000 spectators. It must be like the designated " home" team in the same country. However, may grant exceptions to the Cup organization: for example, allowed Biarritz 2006 at the Estadio Anoeta play in the Spanish city of San Sebastián, the nearest stadium with sufficient capacity. In the seasons 2006/ 07 and 2007/ 08, the Irish teams in England, Wales or Scotland were allowed to play in a stadium of their choice, as Lansdowne Road in Dublin (the only sufficiently large stadium) was then rebuilt.

The final will take place at a predetermined location.

All finals

  • Toulouse: 4 title
  • Leinster: 3 title
  • Brive, Bath, Ulster, Northampton, Toulon: 1 items