Champions Cup Qualification restructured for upcoming season.
With Saracens defeating Clermont Auvergne in Murrayfield last Saturday in the Champions Cup final to retain their title, tournament organisers have announced that qualification for the premier rugby competition in Europe has been altered for the 2017/18 season.
Whilst the top six from the Super 14 and Aviva Premiership will still automatically qualify, the significant change will take place in the Pro 12.
Previously the top six teams automatically qualified but one team from each country was guaranteed a spot, therefore Treviso or Zebre were always guaranteed their place even if finishing bottom.
However, as the Italian teams have failed to develop in the Champions Cup, it has been confirmed that from next season, the top 7 clubs will qualify for the Champions Cup with no guarantee that every country will be represented.
Furthermore, it has been announced that the Challenge Cup winners will automatically qualify for the tournament for the following season. This is an incentive to improve the standard of games in the Challenge Cup.
Overall, these changes should have a positive impact on European Club Rugby.