Everything you need to know about the Champions Cup fortnight ahead
How many points do Wasps need from their games against Harlequins and Ulster?
When the Heineken Cup first pitched the best club teams in Europe head-to-head in 1995, the competition instantly caught the imagination of rugby fans across the continent.
And following the competition’s 2014 restructure and rebrand into its current guise as the European Champions Cup, the quality, drama and tension has only intensified.
Of course, everyone has a favourite moment from the past – in our case headed by Rob Howley’s trophy-clinching touchdown in the 2004 final against Toulouse, or the 15 points from Alex King which clinched the title for a second time three years later.
And for many, we have now reached the time of year – ahead of rounds five and six - when a quick ten-minute look at the tables and fixtures rapidly turns into an hour’s number crunching, to take in all the possible qualification permutations.
Wasps have reached the last eight in each of the last three seasons, and went one step further in 2015/16 thanks to one of those unforgettable European moments, when Jimmy Gopperth’s unerring right boot thrust a dagger through Exeter’s heart.
As ever, unravelling the puzzle to establish likely qualifiers, and evaluating our prospects of making it to the last eight for a fourth consecutive year is a real head scratcher.
For Wasps, everything seems likely to hinge on the visit of Ulster next Sunday, which kicks off at the same time as the other pool one fixture, when Quins visit La Rochelle.
These are also the last two matches in any of the five pools, which means the scale of our task will be clear before kick off.
To help with this year’s number crunching, here’s our quick pool-by-pool guide to a competition which is set to reach a thrilling finale at the Ricoh Arena next Sunday.
As a reminder, the three best runners-up join the five pool winners in the last eight, and 19 points has clinched a quarter-final spot in each of the last three seasons.
Tickets to Wasps v Ulster on Sunday 21st January (KO 3.15pm) are available from £24 for adults, while under 10s go free in selected areas of the stadium.