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 side since the system was introduced in 2007.
To view the current ERC European Rankings, please click here.
The rankings aim to reward and incentivise teams that 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 teams that have qualified into four tiers of six and to ensure the highest-ranked sides are separated in the six pools.
Leinster are joined in Tier 1 by three Heineken Cup winners in Toulouse, Munster and Northampton Saints, while Biarritz Olympique and Cardiff Blues complete the top tier of six.
Once the Tier 1 teams have each been allocated a different pool, no side from the same tier will be drawn in the same pool, and no pool will have more than one team 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 TEAMS AND TIERS:
Tier 1 - Leinster, Toulouse, Biarritz Olympique, Munster, Cardiff Blues, Northampton Saints
Tier 2 - Clermont Auvergne, Ulster, Leicester Tigers, Harlequins, Toulon, Edinburgh
Tier 3 - Ospreys, Scarlets, Glasgow Warriors, Saracens, Connacht, Sale Sharks
Tier 4 - Castres Olympique, Benetton Treviso, Racing Metro 92, Montpellier, Exeter Chiefs, Italian club (to be confirmed)