Irish and French sides make up top tier of Heineken Cup

Leinster remain first seeds, Munster and Ulster confirmed alongside them for next season

Leinster, Munster and Ulster will avoid the big three French sides in the pool stages of the Heineken Cup next season after the ERC confirmed the tiers for next Wednesday's draw, which will take place at the Aviva Stadium.

Leinster retain their top seeding, with Ulster and Munster also in the Tier One.

This year's finalists Toulon and Clermont Auvergne, along with Toulouse, complete the top six.

Toulon make it to the top tier of seeds for the first time after victory over Clermont in this year’s decider.

Connacht are placed amongst the third tier teams.

Tier 1: LEINSTER, Toulon, Toulouse, ASM Clermont Auvergne, ULSTER, MUNSTER.
Tier 2: Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Cardiff Blues, Saracens, Leicester, Perpignan
Tier 3: Edinburgh, Ospreys, Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors, Montpellier, CONNACHT
Tier 4: Gloucester, Castres Olympique, Racing Metro 92, Exeter Chiefs, Benetton Treviso, Zebre