The EPCR announced this morning that next season will see a major change in how Pro12 teams qualify for the Champions Cup.
Currently, seven teams from the Pro12 qualify for European Rugby's premier competition, with at least one club from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales required to be represented.
Basically, it ensured that even though an Italian club did not finish in the Pro12's top seven sides, they were still guaranteed a team in the Champions Cup.
That will not be the case from next season.
At the conclusion of 2017/18, the seven highest-ranked clubs from the Guinness PRO12 will qualify for the following season's Champions Cup regardless of their country of origin. This will replace the current format which requires that at least one club from each of Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales is included in the seven qualifiers.
The qualification process for the Aviva Premiership and the TOP 14 which sees the six highest-ranked clubs secure places in the Champions Cup will remain.
It was also announced that the winners of the Challenge Cup will be given a Champions Cup place for the following season.
EPCR Director General Vincent Gaillard said that the changes are designed to strengthen both competitions.
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