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Investec Champions Cup: What Saracens, Leicester Tigers, Sale Sharks and Bristol Bears need to do to qualify for the knockout stage

The Premiership sides have taken this years Champions Cup by the scruff of the neck.

The Premiership sides have taken this years Champions Cup by the scruff of the neck.

Whilst Sunday night was a horror show for Leicester Tigers and Saracens, four Premiership sides secured their place in the last 16 this weekend, and three of them are still unbeaten after three games.

The weekend started brightly for the Premiership sides, as Northampton Saints put Bayonne to the sword in an emphatic 61-14 win. On Saturday, Exeter Chiefs survived a late scare as they beat Glasgow Warriors 19-17 at Sandy Park. Their West Country rivals Bath then left it late to keep their unbeaten run alive as they beat Racing 92 29-25 at the Rec.

Harlequins had lost one game already, however a staggering 54-15 win over Cardiff also secured their place in the next round with a game to spare.

Whilst these four teams have already cemented their spot in the knockouts, Bristol, Saracens, Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks can still qualify this weekend.

Leicester have the toughest task of the lot, as they face Leinster this weekend, however they sit level on points with second placed Stormers in pool four, and a point would more than likely guide them to the next round.

Their pool rivals Sale face defending champions La Rochelle this Saturday, but Alex Sanderson’s side need to secure maximum points if they hope to leapfrog the teams above them and qualify for the next round.

Saracens also face a difficult test, as they take on Lyon on Saturday evening. They sit level of points with Bristol Bears, so if they hope to qualify they will need to better their result.

It’s the same conundrum for Pat Lam’s men, as they know they will need to better Saracens result if they hope to qualify. They have a slightly easier task though as they take on a struggling Connacht side, who sit bottom of pool one.

It is still all to play for in the final pool matches for these four teams, but realistically only two more Premiership sides will make the knockouts.

Elsewhere this weekend, Exeter travel to Bayonne, Harlequins take on Ulster, Northampton venture to Munster and Bath head to Toulouse.

Full list of teams who have already qualified for the last 16:
Lyon (Pool 1), Bordeaux-Bègles (Pool 1), Toulouse (Pool 2),Bath (Pool 2), Harlequins (Pool 2), Northampton Saints (Pool 3), Exeter Chiefs (Pool 3), Leinster Rugby (Pool 4):