GLASGOW WARRIORS fans will be keenly awaiting news from Neuchatel, Switzerland today as their team mixes it with the cream of European rugby in the draw for the inaugural Champions Cup.
For the first time, Scotland will only have one representative in the blue-riband event of European club rugby and Gregor Townsend's Glasgow, runners-up in the RaboDirect PRO12, have a two-in-three chance of being in the top tier of seeds when the draw begins.
Two-time European champions Toulon and Leinster, who won three of the last five Heineken Cups, are already confirmed in tier one along with Saracens. A pre-draw will be carried out to decide which two teams of Northampton, Castres and Glasgow join them. Once tier one has been established, the pool draw will then take place at the Stade de la Maladiere, to assign teams to five pools of four.
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The second-tier European Challenge Cup is also to be drawn in Switzerland today, with Edinburgh among the teams awaiting the outcome.
It will also comprise four tiers for the draw and five pools, with Stade Francais, Exeter and Cardiff Blues confirmed among top seeds.
The European Rugby Champions Cup succeeds the Heineken Cup, which ran for 19 seasons and ended in Cardiff last month when Toulon successfully defended their crown by beating Saracens. After almost two years of negotiations, a new competition was forged in April comprising nine stakeholders - the six unions of competing teams, plus Premiership Rugby, France's Ligue Nationale de Rugby and Regional Rugby Wales - in addition to the Challenge Cup and a third qualifying tournament.
European Rugby Champions Cup Teams: Saracens, Toulon, Leinster, Northampton, Castres, Glasgow, Leicester, Montpellier, Munster, Harlequins, Racing Metro, Ulster, Bath, Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys, Sale Sharks, Toulouse, Scarlets, Wasps, Treviso.
European Rugby Challenge Cup Teams: Stade Francais, Exeter, Cardiff Blues, Bordeaux-Begles, Gloucester, Edinburgh, Brive, London Irish, Newport Gwent Dragons, Bayonne, Newcastle, Connacht, Grenoble, London Welsh, Zebre, Oyonnax, Lyon, La Rochelle, plus two qualifiers to emerge from competition in September.