Heineken Cup – Key Tournament Rules
Qualification for the Heineken Cup 2007/2008
24 top flight club teams from six countries compete in the Heineken Cup.
These will include a minimum of:
- England: 6 teams (selected by performance in Guinness Premiership and EDF Energy Cup)
- France: 6 teams (selected by performance in Top 14 Championship)
- Ireland 3 teams (selected by performance in Magners League)
- Wales 3 teams (selected by performance in Magners League)
- Scotland 2 teams (selected by performance in Magners League)
- Italy 2 teams (selected by performance in Super 10 Championship)
The 23rd Heineken Cup team will come from England, France or Italy and will be decided by which of these three countries progressed further in the previous season’s Heineken Cup.
The 24th Heineken Cup team will come from Ireland, Wales, Scotland or Italy and will be decided by a play-off match between the best places none Heineken Cup qualified Celtic League team and the third place team in the Italian Super 10 Championship.
The Tournament will be played under the IRB Laws of the Game.
1(a) Pool Matches
Four points for a win, two points for a draw (match points). A bonus point will be earned
by a team scoring four or more tries and by a team losing by seven or less points. The six
Pool winners and two best placed runners-up will qualify for the quarter-finals and will be
decided by the following criteria:
(i) the Pool winner will be the Club with the highest number of match points earned in
each Pool. The runners-up will be the two second placed Clubs from all six Pools with
the next highest number of points. For the quarter-final round, the Pool winners will
be ranked 1 - 6 in terms of the number of points earned. The runners-up will be
ranked 7 and 8.
Clubs in the same Pool
(ii) if Clubs are equal on points and the Clubs are in the same Pool, then qualification/
ranking will be based on the two matches played between the Clubs concerned:
(a) the Club which has earned the most number of match points from the two
matches (four points for a win, two points for a draw and bonus points).
(b) the Club which has scored the most tries in the two matches.
(c) the Club with the best aggregate points difference from the two matches.
Clubs from different Pools (if still unresolved)
(iii) if the teams have not played each other previously in the Pool
stage, qualification / ranking will be based on:
(a) the number of tries scored in all Pool matches.
(b) aggregate points difference from all Pool matches.
(c) the Club with the fewest number of players sent off and / or suspended in all Pool
(d) toss of a coin.
Teams ranked 1 - 4 will have home advantage. The Quarter-Finals will be:
Team 1 v Team 8; Team 2 v Team 7; Team 3 v Team 6; Team 4 v Team 5
1(b) Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final
(i) the Semi-Finals will be played at a venue designated by ERC, with the opponents
in each match determined by a draw conducted by ERC. The Final will be played
at a venue designated by ERC.
(ii) in the event of a tie at full-time in the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final, extra
time of 20 minutes (10 minutes each way) will be played.
(iii) if the result is still unresolved the winner will be decided by the following criteria:
(a) the Club which has scored the most tries in that match, including extra time.
(b) place-kick competition to determine the winner.
2. Eligibility of Players
(i) each club shall nominate a squad of up to 38 players. A minimum of 10 of the
players nominated by the club must be capable of playing in front row forward
positions. All players must, from 28 September, 2006, be fully and properly
registered with their club and Union and available to play for the club from
(ii) a club may nominate a maximum of 22 players and a minimum of 19 players for
each match. Included amongst such players must be a minimum of five players
who can play in front row forward positions and who are suitably trained and
(iii) after the completion of the Pool stages, clubs involved in the knock-out stages
may nominate three additional players. One of these players must be qualified
to play in a front row position and the other two players can play in any position.
These additional players must be fully and properly registered by 15 March, 2007.
Clubs must ensure that these players have not been nominated in a match squad
with another club for the Heineken Cup or European Challenge Cup tournaments
during the current season.
(iv) each club may select one additional player during the course of the Pool stages.
The nominated additional player will replace a registered member of the club’s
squad and no club will exceed 38 players at any time during the Pool stages.
The de-registered player may return to the squad at a later date during the Pool
stages and replace the additional player. Clubs must ensure that the additional
player has not been nominated in a match squad with another club for the
Heineken Cup or European Challenge Cup tournaments during the current season.
The additional player will be eligible to play in the next round of Pool matches if
his nomination is received by ERC by noon on the Wednesday before the match.
The player must have at least a three-month contract with the Club. If a additional
player is selected by a Club after Round 4 and the Club subsequently qualifies for a
quarter-final the Club will only be allowed to register a further two players for the
(v) each club is permitted a maximum of two “foreign” players in any one match squad.
3. Club Colours
For Pool matches and quarter-finals, in the event of a colour clash, the away club will
change jerseys. For the semi-finals and final in the event of a colour clash the club selected
to change jersey will be by toss of a coin
4. Anti-Doping programme
Players will be subject to random sampling under ERC procedures or as otherwise notified
(i) the case of any player sent off shall be adjudicated upon by an independent Disciplinary Committee.
(ii) for all Heineken Cup games a Citing Commissioner will be appointed by ERC and shall
be entitled to cite a Player for any act or acts of Foul Play that in the Citing
Commissioner’s opinion is warranted. Clubs will not have the power to cite a player
but may refer incidents to the Citing Commissioner within 24 hours of the conclusion
of the match. The Citing Commissioner will have 50 hours from the start of the game
to make a citing and the determination of the Citing Commissioner will be final and
binding. Should the Citing Commissioner decide there is a case to answer he will
notify the Disciplinary Officer and the Disciplinary Officer will then bring a charge
against the cited player. This case will then proceed to a Disciplinary Hearing.
(i) when a match is abandoned after 60 minutes of play (after 20 minutes of the second
half) the result will stand.
(ii) when a match is abandoned with less than 60 minutes played, the match should be
replayed in full after 48 hours with both Clubs allowed to name new teams. If both
Clubs agree the match may be played sooner than 48 hours. If both Clubs agree,
and subject to ERC Board approval, the score of a game abandoned with less than
60 minutes played may stand as the result.