The Heineken Champions Cup matchday dates for the 2021/22 season have been announced.
24 clubs, including eight each across the Top 14, Gallagher Premiership and Pro 14, will compete in this season’s instalment.
All four Irish provinces will begin their 2021/22 seasons in the Champions Cup.
The sides are ranked as the top four sides from the Pro 14 as the qualification is based on the 2020/21 Pro 14 season.
The 2020/21 Pro 14 Rainbow Cup standings do not affect the European qualification process.
The competition will once again begin with four rounds of the pool stage.
The format will likely be the same as last season’s controversial setup which had two pools of 12 with teams facing off against two sides from other leagues.
These teams are expected to face each other twice and the top eight in each pool will progress to the round of 16.
The round of 16 will be a two-legged round and will take place over two weekends.
However, the quarter-finals and semi-finals will remain as a one-and-done fixture.
Both finals will be held in Marseille’s Stade Velodrome in the south of France.
The 2020/21 finals were originally scheduled to be held at the venue.
2021/22 EPCR Weekends
Round 1 – 10/11/12 December
Round 2 – 17/18/19 December
Round 3 – 14/15/16 January 2022
Round 4 – 21/22/23 January 2022
Round of 16 (first leg) – 8/9/10 April 2022
Round of 16 (second leg) – 15/16/17 April 2022
Quarter-finals – 6/7/8 May 2022
Semi-finals – 13/14/15 May 2022
Challenge Cup Final – 27 May 2022
Champions Cup Final – 28 May 2022