European Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals Details

Connacht Rugby, winners of Pool 5, have qualified for the quarter-final stages of the 2017-18 Challenge Cup competition having accumulated a total of 26 points. The western province is the third highest points-earning team in this year’s competition, behind Paul and Newcastle Falcons.

The ranking of each of the quarter-finalists is as follows:

1 Pau (winner Pool 3 – 29 points)
2 Newcastle Falcons (winner Pool 1 – 28 points)
3 Connacht Rugby (winner Pool 5 – 26 points)
4 Edinburgh Rugby (winner Pool 4 – 25 points)
5 Cardiff Blues (winner Pool 2 – 21 points)
6 Gloucester Rugby (best pool runner-up – 21 points)
7 Brive (second best pool runner-up – 17 points)
8 Stade Francais Paris (third best pool runner-up – 17 points)

The quarter-final matches to be played on 29/30/31 March / 1 April are as follows:

QF 1: Pau v Stade Francais Paris.
QF 2: Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues.
QF 3: Connacht Rugby v Gloucester Rugby.
QF 4: Newcastle Falcons v Brive.

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

Following confirmation of the Challenge Cup quarter-final line-up, the semi-final pairings will be as follows:

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1: Pau v Stade Francais Paris will play the winner of QF 2: Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues.

Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3: Connacht Rugby v Gloucester Rugby will play the winner of QF 4: Newcastle Falcons v Brive.

The format for the semi-final matches in the Challenge Cup recognises performances by clubs during the pool stage as well as the achievement of winning a quarter-final match away from home.

The following clubs will have home venue advantage in their respective semi-final matches:

Semi-final 1
If Pau (ranked No 1) and Edinburgh Rugby (ranked No 4) win their quarter-finals, Pau will have home venue advantage.

If Pau (ranked No 1) and Cardiff Blues (ranked No 5) win their quarter-finals, Cardiff Blues will have home venue advantage.

If Stade Francais Paris (ranked No 8) and Edinburgh Rugby (ranked No 4) win their quarter-finals, Stade Francais Paris will have home venue advantage.

If Stade Francais Paris (ranked No 8) and Cardiff Blues (ranked No 5) win their quarter-finals, Cardiff Blues will have home venue advantage.

Semi-final 2
If Connacht Rugby (ranked No 3) and Newcastle Falcons (ranked No 2) win their quarter-finals, Newcastle Falcons will have home venue advantage.

If Connacht Rugby (ranked No 3) and Brive (ranked No 7) win their quarter-finals, Brive will have home venue advantage.

If Gloucester Rugby (ranked No 6) and Newcastle Falcons (ranked No 2) win their quarter-finals, Gloucester will have home venue advantage.

If Gloucester Rugby (ranked No 6) and Brive (ranked No 7) win their quarter-finals, Gloucester will have home venue advantage.

The Challenge Cup semi-finals will be played on the weekend of April 20-22, with the 2018 Challenge Cup Final taking place on Friday 11th May at San Mames Stadium, Bilbao.

 

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