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Falcons to play in revised European Challenge Cup


By Falcons HQ
September 2 2020

Newcastle Falcons will play in a new-look European Challenge Cup next season, tournament organisers EPCR having revealed their revised format for 2020-21.

 

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has seen a shortened structure brought in on a one-off basis, with 14 teams competing in one large group.

That consists of four clubs from the Gallagher Premiership (teams TBC depending on current season league placings), six from France's Top 14 (Bayonne, Castres, Brive, Pau, Agen and Stade Francais) and four from the Pro 14 (Benetton, Cardiff Blues, Zebre and Ospreys).

 

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Falcons to play in revised European Challenge Cup
Discussion started by FalconsRugby.org.uk , 02/09/2020 18:06
FalconsRugby.org.uk
02/09/2020 18:06
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matt1il
03/09/2020 07:46
I don't understand the idea with playing only 4 out of the other 13 then into a last 16 with a demoted team from the Champions Cup. But anyway at least we know what it looks like and that we have 2 away days either in France/Wales/Italy.

I've never been a fan of competitions where clubs from 1 tournament are relegated mid season it totally devalues the lower competition. Especially as the prize for winning the lower competition is to compete in the higher competition the next season.

Bedlington Lad
03/09/2020 08:56
Quote:
matt1il
I don't understand the idea with playing only 4 out of the other 13 then into a last 16 with a demoted team from the Champions Cup. But anyway at least we know what it looks like and that we have 2 away days either in France/Wales/Italy.
I've never been a fan of competitions where clubs from 1 tournament are relegated mid season it totally devalues the lower competition. Especially as the prize for winning the lower competition is to compete in the higher competition the next season.
Quite agree I presume it's driven by T.V. money. Last time I recall it happened to us we were hammered by a top-tier side who'd failed to progress and I don't recall it served any great purpose for either side.

matt1il
03/09/2020 12:15
New rules

So from above link we can play 4 of the non-English Tier 1 clubs which are:
2 of Castres/Montpellier (depending if Castres win the 19/20 Challenge Cup), Brive or Bayonne and then Benetton, Cardiff.

Wouldn't mind a trip to Cardiff or south of France.

In the Quarters you get home advantage (over a Champs Cup team) if you finish top4, if you're 5-8th you'll be away to a Champs Cup team.

Rogerandout
03/09/2020 15:49
Looks like an opportunity for a good trip which would be great assuming we are allowed to travel.

dick g
03/09/2020 19:02
Very puzzled. How do we know we will be one of the 4 Prem sides? Have I missed something?

FalcDancer
03/09/2020 19:15
1 of the following as an away game and I will be more then happy. In no particular order -
Bayonne
Agen
Benetton
Zebre

markismith50
03/09/2020 19:16
Hi Dick, the top 8 Prem teams are in the Champions Cup, and the bottom 4 are in the Challenge Cup. The relegated team (Saracens) canít play in Europe, so the promoted team (us) steps into the Challenge Cup.

PurpleGroundhog
03/09/2020 19:22
Mark, is that just for this season or will it always be 8 teams in the Heineken Cup from now on ?

markismith50
03/09/2020 19:33
Just this season, at the moment.

dick g
03/09/2020 19:51
Quote:
markismith50
Hi Dick, the top 8 Prem teams are in the Champions Cup, and the bottom 4 are in the Challenge Cup. The relegated team (Saracens) canít play in Europe, so the promoted team (us) steps into the Challenge Cup.

Thanks Mark. Simple really.

matt1il
03/09/2020 20:55
Quote:
FalcDancer
1 of the following as an away game and I will be more then happy. In no particular order -
Bayonne
Agen
Benetton
Zebre

We won't be playing Agen or Zebre.

Btw check out the Champions Cup format, not confusing at all :/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:09:03:20:57:46 by matt1il.

Barry555
03/09/2020 21:10
Indeed all very confusing. I expect Dean to go all guns blazing in Prem games however in previous years in the Euros heís actually picked quite strong squads so I wonder if thatíll continue.

Iíve never managed to get to a falcons away fixture in Europe however after being cooped up for most of this year I may actually actively try and venture away to one.

FalcDancer
05/09/2020 16:32
Quote:
matt1il
Quote:
FalcDancer
1 of the following as an away game and I will be more then happy. In no particular order -
Bayonne
Agen
Benetton
Zebre

We won't be playing Agen or Zebre.

Btw check out the Champions Cup format, not confusing at all :/

Why not?

matt1il
05/09/2020 20:51
Quote:
FalcDancer
Quote:
matt1il
Quote:
FalcDancer
1 of the following as an away game and I will be more then happy. In no particular order -
Bayonne
Agen
Benetton
Zebre

We won't be playing Agen or Zebre.

Btw check out the Champions Cup format, not confusing at all :/

Why not?

Because they are also both Tier 2 clubs, as we are.

Essentially the 2 top teams from Prem & Pro14 and 3 top from Top14 that are in the Challenge Cup are listed as Tier 1s, the rest as a Tier 2 (including us).

Tier 1s cannot play each other, same for Tier 2s.

Teams from the same competition cannot play each other. So we won't play 9th/10th of Prem as one of our 4 games.

As there are 3 Tier 1s from Top14 you'll only play 2 of those, you can't play the 3.

So we will play the Tier 1s from Pro 14 (Cardiff & Benetton) & 2 of 3 sides who finished 9-11th from the Top14 (muddled slightly by Castres still being in the Challenge Cup 19/20 and if they win that Montpellier will drop down).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2020:09:05:20:55:00 by matt1il.

FalcDancer
05/09/2020 21:11
Cheers Matt
Iíll take Benetton now then please

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