4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
England and France can rise to a maximum of seven teams in the Heineken Cup, while Ireland and Wales can go to four each.
If one country were to win both tournaments, then the ERC Rankings will be used to determine the 24th entrant into the Heineken Cup with the highest ranked, non-qualified team taking the place.
Celtic Rugby Director David Jordan said: "There is so much to play for this season and the new European qualification is making the Magners League an even tougher tournament.
"For the first time it is possible we could have all 10 teams qualifying for the Heineken Cup.
"There is so much to play for and the fans can look forward to an increase in tempo and intensity as the league moves into its 'second half' in the New Year."