The European Champions Cup, still known to many of us as the Heineken, kicks off in dark December this weekend and should finish on a spring or early summer evening in May.

The format this year is the same as that devised in response to Covid last season, and doubtless still leaves many of us confused. Instead of the familiar, and fairly easily understood structure – four pools each with six clubs and three home and away fixtures with the top two in each pool going on to the quarter-final knockout stage – we have a bit of a dog’s dinner.