Connacht Rugby will travel to Sale Sharks for Challenge Cup quarter-final

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Connacht, who finished in sixth position of the eight Challenge Cup quarter-finalists with 22 points, will travel to Sale Sharks for their last-eight game the weekend of 29-31 March 2019.

Following the completion of the final round of games, ASM Clermont Auvergne, winners of Pool 1, finished top of the pile with 30 points, ahead of fellow French side La Rochelle, who won Pool 4 with 24 points. The Pool 3 winners, Sale Sharks finished third, meaning they will have home advantage over Andy Friend’s side when European action recommences in two months time.

The permutations for the semi-finals, which will take place the weekend of 19, 20, 21 April 2019, have also been finalised.

If La Rochelle, who host Bristol Bears in quarter-final four, and Connacht Rugby (quarter-final three) win, the French outfit will have home country advantage for the semi-final.

Connacht will have home country advantage, however, if Pat Lamb’s Bristol Bears overcome La Rochelle.

The qualifiers for the 2018-19 Challenge Cup quarter-finals and their rankings at the conclusion of the pool stage are as follows:

1 ASM Clermont Auvergne (winner Pool 1 – 30 points)
2 La Rochelle (winner Pool 4 – 24 points)
3 Sale Sharks (winner Pool 3 – 22 points)
4 Worcester Warriors (winner Pool 2 – 22 points)
5 Harlequins (winner Pool 5 – 21 points)
6 Connacht Rugby (best pool runner-up – 22 points)
7 Bristol Bears (second best pool runner-up – 21 points)
8 Northampton Saints (third best pool runner-up – 21 points)

The quarter-final matches to be played on 29,30, 31 March 2019 are as follows:

QF 1: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints
QF 2: Worcester Warriors v Harlequins
QF 3: Sale Sharks v Connacht Rugby
QF 4: La Rochelle v Bristol Bears

The exact dates, venues and kick-off times for the matches will be announced towards the end of next week.

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints will play the winner of QF 2: Worcester Warriors v Harlequins.

Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3: Sale Sharks v Connacht Rugby will play the winner of QF 4: La Rochelle v Bristol Bears.

The 2019 Challenge Cup Final takes place on Friday, 10 May at St James’ Park, Newcastle (19.45).

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