Blog Banner

Challenge Cup fixtures confirmed

19th August 2016

The first four fixtures of Cardiff Blues' European Challenge Cup campaign have now been confirmed.

Wales’ Capital Region will kick-off their European conquest away to Bristol at Ashton Gate on Friday, October 14 (7.45pm) before welcoming Pau to BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday October 21 (7.15pm).

Danny Wilson’s men will take on English giants Bath in the December double-header.

They take on Todd Blackadder’s Bath at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, December 10 (2.30pm) before travelling to the Rec on Thursday, December 15 (7.45pm)

The Pool action comes to a climax in January with a trip to Pau and a finale at home against Bristol, with the fixture dates to be confirmed later in the year.

Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson said: “It’s an exciting pool for us and having the fixtures now just whets the appetite.

“With both myself and Matt Sherratt enjoying time at Bristol, it was inevitable that we were going to draw them in Europe and I am excited about the derbies.

“You have Bristol, Bath and Cardiff all in close proximity so fans can travel and hopefully we can pack out all three of those grounds. 

“They are great rivalries and promise to be fantastic occasions at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, while we also have a trip to star-studded Pau as well.”

What promises to be an epic journey to the 2017 finals weekend at Edinburgh's BT Murrayfield Stadium begins on Sky Sports with the Challenge Cup head-to-head between European stalwarts Harlequins and Stade Francais Paris at the Twickenham Stoop on Thursday, 13 October.

Then the Champions Cup will be up and running on Friday, 14 October on BT Sport when Glasgow Warriors and Leicester Tigers clash at Scotstoun Stadium.

The dates, kick-off times and TV coverage for the Round 5 and 6 fixtures in both tournaments will be announced in December following the completion of the Round 4 matches.

Cardiff Blues' fixtures

Bristol (A): Friday, October 14 (7.45pm), Ashton Gate
Pau (H): Friday, October 21 (7.15pm), BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Bath (H): Saturday, December 10 (2.30pm), BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Bath (A): Thursday, December 15 (7.45pm), The Recreation Ground
Pau (A): January 12/13/14/15, Stade Municipal du Hameau
Bristol (H): January 19/20/21/22, BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park

•    The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup each consist of five pools of four clubs with the five pool winners and the three best runners-up qualifying for the knockout stages
•    The 40 clubs from eight countries in both tournaments have qualified on merit from Europe's three main professional leagues - the Aviva Premiership, PRO12 and TOP 14 - and from the Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition
•    The 2017 Challenge Cup and Champions Cup finals will be staged at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh on 12 and 13 May next
•    Timisoara Saracens of Romania will be making their debut in the Challenge Cup while Bristol Rugby will be returning to European competition for the first time since the 2008/09 season
•    All four Irish provinces have qualified by right for Europe's top flight for the first time
•    2016/17 will be the 22nd season of European professional club rugby
•    EPCR weekends

Round 1: 13/14/15/16 October
Round 2: 20/21/22/23 October
Round 3: 8/9/10/11 December
Round 4: 15/16/17/18 December
Round 5: 12/13/14/15 January 2017
Round 6: 19/20/21/22 January 2017
Quarter-finals: 30/31 March - 1/2 April 2017
Semi-finals: 21/22/23 April 2017

Finals Edinburgh 2017

European Rugby Challenge Cup: Friday 12 May, BT Murrayfield Stadium
European Rugby Champions Cup: Saturday 13 May, BT Murrayfield Stadium