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Farrell aims for European glory


Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell

Owen Farrell is targeting Heineken Cup glory after guiding Saracens to the Aviva Premiership title.

Saracens failed to progress from a tough group last season but they lurk as a team to avoid when the draw for the 2011/12 competition is made at Twickenham on Tuesday.

"This club can be what it wants to be," said the 19-year-old, who will spend this summer playing for England at the Junior World Cup in Italy. "We have created something special and this is the start of it. We want to go far in the Heineken Cup and we want to be in the Premiership final every year."

Defending European champions Leinster will be first out of the hat followed by fellow top seeds Toulouse, Munster, Cardiff Blues, Biarritz and Leicester.

The six clubs will be allocated a pool each and then joined by a team from each of the next three tiers of seeds. Saracens are in the third tier.

Last season's runners-up Northampton are one of four English teams to be ranked as second seeds, having been edged out of the top bracket by east Midlands rivals Leicester.

The seeding system is based on performances in the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup over the past four years.

Both teams had the same ranking points but Leicester were confirmed as top seeds because Northampton had missed out on the Heineken Cup in 2008-09. One frustrating anomaly for the Saints is that their 2009 Challenge Cup victory was only worth five points, compared to the six earned by subsequent champions Cardiff and Harlequins.

ERC increased the ranking points available for winning the Challenge Cup when the competition was restructured to include teams dropping down from the Heineken Cup. That one extra point would have earned Northampton a top seeding. Instead they are grouped with Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys, Bath, Harlequins and London Irish.

TIER 1 - Leinster, Toulouse, Munster, Cardiff Blues, Biarritz Olympique, Leicester Tigers TIER 2 - Northampton Saints, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ospreys, Bath Rugby, Harlequins, London Irish TIER 3 - Ulster Rugby, Saracens, Gloucester Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Scarlets, Edinburgh TIER 4 - Connacht Rugby, Benetton Treviso, Castres Olympique, Montpellier, Racing Metro 92, Aironi Rugby.

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