Dragons will play in the last 16 of the European Challenge Cup in April – after EPCR today (Wednesday) announced revised tournament formats for the 2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.
Both tournaments will resume with Rounds of 16 matches on the weekend of 2/3/4 April and the knockout stages will continue with quarter-finals, semi-finals and the scheduled Marseille finals on allocated weekends in April and May.
As approved by the EPCR Board and following in-depth discussions with shareholder leagues and unions, the Rounds of 16 and quarter-final matches in both tournaments will now be decided by draws which will take place on Tuesday, March 9.
Regarding the Heineken Champions Cup, the eight highest ranked clubs in Pool A and the eight highest ranked clubs in Pool B at the time of the suspension of the tournament have qualified for the last 16.
This means that Dragons now move into the Challenge Cup draw for the last 16.
For the purposes of the draw, clubs from the same league cannot be drawn against one another, however, Challenge Cup and Heineken Champions Cup clubs can be drawn against one another.
Clubs which won both Challenge Cup preliminary stage matches on the pitch (where results were not impacted by Covid-19) will play at home. Therefore, London Irish, Ospreys and Leicester Tigers will each be guaranteed a home fixture.
The clubs which are not drawn against either London Irish, Ospreys or Leicester Tigers will have their opponents, and whether they will be playing at home or away, determined as part of the draw.
It has also been agreed that open draws will take place to determine the quarter-finals in both the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, allowing for the possibility of matches between clubs from the same league.
The draws for the quarter-finals will take place immediately after the Rounds of 16 draws on Tuesday, March 9. This will be streamed live on epcrugby.com next month.
2020/21 KNOCKOUT STAGE QUALIFIERS
Challenge Cup: London Irish, Ospreys, Leicester Tigers, Cardiff Blues, Zebre, Agen, Benetton Rugby, Newcastle Falcons, Ulster Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Northampton Saints, Bath Rugby, Montpellier, Dragons, Harlequins, Glasgow Warriors
EPCR KEY DATES
- Knockout Stage Draws: Tuesday, March 9
- Rounds of 16: 2/3/4 April
- Quarter-finals: 9/10/11 April
- Semi-finals: 30 April – 1/2 May
- Challenge Cup Final: Marseille – Friday, May 21
For the purposes of the draw, clubs from the same league cannot be drawn against one another, however, Challenge Cup and Heineken Champions Cup clubs can be drawn against one another...