The European Rugby Champions Cup will replace the Heineken Cup from next season. The new tournament in the European rugby schedule will feature 20 teams (Heineken Cup currently has 24), seven from the Pro12, seven from the Aviva Premiership, six from the French Top 14 and a final place will be decided by a play-off.

The Amlin Cup is on the way out, too, being adjusted and rebranded as the European Rugby Challenge Cup, while a brand new third-tier competition called the Qualifying Competition has also been announced, according to the BBC

International Rugby Board chairman Bernard Lapasset said that the new tournaments would have players and fans "looking forward to a strong competition structure that promotes and celebrates the best of the European game."

English teams withdrew themselves from the ERC in June 2012 and have been vocal opponents to the current Heineken Cup system.

The Pro12 representation has been cut by three places, with one team from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy guaranteed entry and the others decided by league position.

ERC chief executive Derek McGrath has also confirmed that he will stand down next October as a result of this decision.