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Everything you need to know about the European Rugby Champions Cup

Everything you need to know about the European Rugby Champions Cup Everything you need to know about the European Rugby Champions Cup 4221396001 5236223996001 5236210334001 vs


For those not too familiar with rugby union, in football terms Newcastle has bid to host the equivalent of the Champions League and Europa League finals in 2018.

The city wants to stage the 2018 European Rugby Champions Cup final at St James’ Park and the European Rugby Challenge Cup final at Kingston Park.

It would be a major boost for the city, which has already hosted the All Blacks during the last Rugby World Cup – and won praise for hosting Rugby League’s Magic Weekend.

Below is all you need to know about the tournaments.

What is the European Rugby Champions Cup?

The cup is an annual rugby union tournament organised by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). It is the top-tier competition for clubs whose countries’ national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship.

Clubs qualify for the Champions Cup via their final positions in their respective national/regional leagues; those who do not qualify are instead eligible to compete in the second-tier Challenge Cup.

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Interview with Falcons Director of Rugby Dean Richards

Introduced in 2014, the competition replaced the Heineken Cup, which had run since 1995, following disagreements between its shareholders over the structure and governance of the competition.

Saracens are the current holders of the cup, having won their first cup by beating Racing 92 in the 2016 final. Toulouse have won the competition a record four times, the last of which was in 2010.

What is the European Rugby Challenge Cup?

It is the second tier competition for clubs whose country’s national team compete in the Six Nations Championship, as well as some teams from select other European nations. The first edition on the tournament was in 2014, after it replaced the European Challenge Cup which had run since 1996, following disagreements in the structure of the format of the tournament and division of revenue.

Twenty teams qualify for the Challenge Cup, 18 from the three main European domestic leagues, and two from a special Qualifying Competition between teams from other European nations.

Press Call at St James' Park to announce Newcastle's bid to host the 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals Everything you need to know about the European Rugby Champions Cup Everything you need to know about the European Rugby Champions Cup
Press Call at St James’ Park to announce Newcastle’s bid to host the 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Montpellier are the current Challenge Cup holders, having won the 2015–16 European Rugby Challenge Cup, while Harlequins have won the tournament a record three times, most recently in 2011.

When will the finals be held?

Over one weekend in May 2018. A third final, for the qualifying competition to decide which teams from Europe’s second-tier rugby nations play in the 2018/19 Challenge Cup, would also be in the city.

When will Newcastle find out if it has won the bid?

A shortlist of 2018 candidate cities is due to be drawn up by tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby later this month, after which venue visits will take place. A final decision is set to be made next April, a month before the 2017 European finals in Edinburgh.

How many visitors do the finals attract?

Akapusa Qera of Montpellier is tackled by Joe Marler of Harlequins during the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final match between Harlequins and Montpellier at the Grand Stade de Lyon Everything you need to know about the European Rugby Champions Cup Everything you need to know about the European Rugby Champions Cup
Akapusa Qera of Montpellier is tackled by Joe Marler of Harlequins during the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final match between Harlequins and Montpellier at the Grand Stade de Lyon

The last time the event was held in the UK at Twickenham, London, in 2014 more than 70,000 fans turned out.

How much is the event expected to bring in to the local economy?

Combined, the finals form one of the biggest weekends in club rugby and is estimated to bring in around £17m for the host city. The 2016 showpiece was held in Lyon, France.


Source : Chroniclelive

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