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Provinces await European fate in Thursday’s Champions Cup draw

Munster could enter next year’s tournament as top seeds with Leinster in second tier

The draw for the 2017/18 Champions Cup takes place on Thursday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The 2018-2019 rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup draws take place in Neuchatel, Switzerland on Thursday (1.0pm, Irish time).

There will be a draw to determine which clubs will join Guinness Pro12 champions the Scarlets, Aviva Premiership champions the Exeter Chiefs and French Top14 champions, Clermont Auvergne, as Tier 1 and top seeds across the five pools. Two teams from Munster, Wasps and Toulon will make it into Tier 1 with the club not drawn dropping to Tier 2.

Once Tier 1 has been established, the remaining three tiers will fall into place. Tier 2 will include the three third-ranked clubs from the leagues, Leinster, Saracens and La Rochelle, as well as the club not drawn into Tier 1 and the fourth-ranked club from the same league as the club which was not drawn into Tier 1.

Ulster will be among the teams in Tier 3 in the Champions Cup while Connacht will be among the Tier 2 teams in the European Challenge Cup draw.