23 May 13
Harlequins confirmed today (23rd May) that Chris Brooker is leaving the club to join Worcester Warriors.
Having won European club rugby's premier competition three times in the past four years, Leinster also sit proudly at the top of the ERC European Rankings with 40 points, the highest total achieved by any club since the system was introduced in 2007.
The rankings aim to reward and incentivise clubs which consistently perform at the highest level in European competition over four-seasons.
They are used for the purposes of the Heineken Cup pool draw to allocate the clubs that have qualified into four tiers of six clubs and to ensure the highest-ranked clubs are separated in the six pools.
Leinster are joined in Tier 1 by three Heineken Cup winners in Toulouse, Munster Rugby and Northampton Saints, while Biarritz Olympique and Cardiff Blues complete the top tier of six clubs.
Once the Tier 1 clubs have each been allocated a different pool, no club from the same tier will be drawn in the same pool, and no pool will have more than one club from the same country with the exception of France, as there are seven French clubs in next season's competition.
Exeter Chiefs from England have qualified for the first time while a second Italian club will be nominated by the Italian Federation.
2012/13 Heineken Cup clubs and tiers
Tier 1 - Leinster Rugby, Toulouse, Biarritz Olympique, Munster Rugby, Cardiff Blues, Northampton Saints
Tier 2 - ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ulster Rugby, Leicester Tigers, Harlequins, Toulon, Edinburgh Rugby
Tier 3 - Ospreys, Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors, Saracens, Connacht Rugby, Sale Sharks
Tier 4 - Castres Olympique, Benetton Treviso, Racing Metro 92, Montpellier, Exeter Chiefs, Italian club (to be confirmed)