Heineken Champions Cup: Harlequins and Exeter drawn in tier one

Sam Simmonds in possession
English sides Harlequins and Exeter have both been drawn in tier one for next season's Heineken Champions Cup after contesting last month's Premiership final

Premiership champions Harlequins will face Castres and Cardiff Blues in the pool stages of next season's Heineken Champions Cup.

Quins were drawn as a tier-one side after beating Exeter Chiefs 40-38 in the Premiership final last month.

Exeter, the 2020 European Cup winners, were also drawn in tier one, and will face Montpellier and Glasgow Warriors.

The pool stages will start in December, with teams facing each other home and away - and so each playing four games.

The 24 competing teams were drawn into two pools of 12 - which were each then split into four tiers of three clubs.

In each pool, tier-one sides face tier-four teams, and clubs in tier two playing those in tier three.

Each pool's tier has three clubs - one each from the Premiership, Pro14 and Top 14 - with the tiers determined by domestic standings.

In the pool stage, teams do not face opponents from the same domestic league - so, for instance, a tier-one Premiership club will only play the Pro14 and Top 14 teams in tier four.

Defending champions Toulouse, who are in tier one, will face tier-four clubs Wasps and Cardiff Blues.

The 2021-22 Champions Cup final is scheduled to be in Marseille on 28 May next year.

Pool A

Tier one: La Rochelle, Exeter Chiefs, Leinster

Tier two: Racing 92, Sale Sharks, Ulster

Tier three: Clermont Auvergne, Northampton Saints, Ospreys

Tier four: Montpellier, Bath, Glasgow Warriors

Pool B

Tier one: Toulouse, Harlequins, Munster

Tier two: Bordeaux-Begles, Bristol Bears, Connacht

Tier three: Stade Francais, Leicester Tigers, Scarlets

Tier four: Castres, Wasps, Cardiff Blues

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