The Pool stages will again be played in three blocks of two Rounds with the knock-out stages starting a week after the Easter weekend.
The draw to determine the make up of the groups for next year's tournament will take place in Paris in the week commencing Monday, 8 June and after their 19-16 triumph over Leicester Tigers, Leinster will be among the six seeds that comprise Tier 1.
Tier 1 is made up of the six top ranked teams in the ERC European Rankings. This ranking is based upon the past four seasons performance of each team in the competition. These top ranked 6 teams cannot meet each other until the knock-out phase. The six teams in Tier 1 will be as follows:
EDF Energy Cup winners Cardiff Blues will be in Tier 2, ranked 8th, but with Wasps failing to qualify the Blues are the 7th highest seeds in the competition.
The organisers now know 23 of the 24 teams for next season following the two finals last weekend. Northampton Saints' victory over Bourgoin in the European Challenge Cup final meant they qualified for the Heineken Cup. Bourgoin miss out and Brive claimed the sixth spot among the French teams.
Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Harlequins, Bath, Sale Sharks, Gloucester, Northampton Saints
Perpignan, Toulouse, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Stade Français Paris, Biarritz Olympique, Brive
Leinster, Munster, Ulster
Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, Scarlets
Viadana, Benetton Treviso
The 24th team in the tournament will be decided next Friday when Newport Gwent Dragons face Calvisano
Tickets for the 15th Heineken Cup Final in Saint Denis, Paris on Saturday 22, May, 2010 are available to buy from 18 Euros. See www.ercrugby.com for full details.
HEINEKEN CUP and EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP 2009/10
(Please note that the dates are the Saturday of the relevant weekend)
ROUND 1 - 9/10/11 October
ROUND 2 - 16/17/18 October
ROUND 3 -11/12/13 December
ROUND 4 -18/19/20 December
ROUND 5 - 15/16/17 January
ROUND 6 - 22/23/24 January
QUARTER-FINALS - 9 / 10 / 11 April
SEMI-FINALS - 1 / 2 May
Paris 2010 Heineken Cup Final - 22 May
European Challenge Cup Final 21 / 22 / 23 May