HomeRugbyRugby IrishHere are 8 key facts about the Challenge Cup Rugby for the...

Here are 8 key facts about the Challenge Cup Rugby for the 2023/24 season

Here are 8 key facts about the Challenge Cup Rugby for the 2023/24 season:

1. **Participating Clubs from Seven Countries:** Teams from France, South Africa, Wales, England, Italy, Scotland, and Georgia will engage in the tournament, divided into three pools for the initial stage comprising four rounds.

2. **Qualification Criteria:** The top four clubs from each pool, along with four clubs from the Investec Champions Cup, will advance to the Round of 16.

3. **Debutants:** Black Lion, based in Tbilisi, marks the first Georgian club to join the EPCR Challenge Cup, hosting Gloucester Rugby at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium in Pool 3.

4. **Newcomers:** Hollywoodbets Sharks from Durban will make their tournament debut this season, adding further excitement to the lineup.

5. **Fixture Highlights:** Toyota Cheetahs will clash against Section Paloise in Pool 1’s Round 3 fixture, scheduled at the NRCA Stadium in Amsterdam.

6. **Strong Contenders:** Previous winners ASM Clermont Auvergne, Section Paloise, Gloucester Rugby, and Montpellier Hérault Rugby are among the contenders vying for this season’s title.

7. **Historic Achievements:** RC Toulon clinched both the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, becoming the fifth club – and the first French club – to achieve this feat, following their victory in Dublin last May.

8. **Championship History:** Clubs like ASM Clermont Auvergne and Harlequins have the most Challenge Cup titles, both securing three championships each. The Challenge Cup has witnessed 18 clubs claim victory since its inaugural final in 1997, displaying a diverse array of winning clubs over the years.

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