Competition organisers ERC have confirmed that 2011/12 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup tournaments will kick off in November.
Both tournaments will start less than three weeks after the Rugby World Cup reaches its climax with the final in Auckland, New Zealand on October 23.
Due to the staging of the World Cup, the two European club rugby tournaments will start later than usual.
Once the opening two rounds are completed in November, the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup will revert to their customary format with rounds 3 and 4 scheduled for December, and rounds 5 and 6 taking place in January, 2012.
ERC today announced the season structure for the 2011/12 competitions, with the 17th Heineken Cup final being staged at Twickenham over the weekend of May 19-20, 2012.
The 16th Amlin Challenge Cup final will be played over the same weekend in May of next year.
2011/12 HEINEKEN CUP AND AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP DATES:
ROUND 1 – November 10/11/12/13
ROUND 2 – November 17/18/19/20
ROUND 3 – December 8/9/10/11
ROUND 4 – December 15/16/17/18
ROUND 5 – January 12/13/14/15
ROUND 6 – January 19/20/21/22
QUARTER-FINALS – April 5/6/7/8
SEMI-FINALS – April 27/28/29
FINALS – May 18/19/20