European Rugby Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition
European Rugby Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition
The aim of the Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition is to widen the footprint of club rugby across Europe and to give both emerging and established clubs in different territories the opportunity to secure two valuable places in the 2016/17 Challenge Cup.This season's competition features clubs who have qualified from the domestic leagues of Rugby Europe member unions, Romania, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium, as well three representatives from the Italian Eccellenza.
The eight participating clubs will compete in two pools with each club in Pool A playing once against each club in Pool B.
The two pool winners will then go through to a finals stage of the Qualifying Competition where they will play off against Rugby Calvisano or a nominated representative of the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR), and against Enisei-STM or a nominated representative of the Russian Union, on a home and away basis.
At the conclusion of the play-offs, two clubs will qualify for the 2016/17 Challenge Cup.
The Qualifying Competition is organised by Rugby Europe in conjunction with EPCR and the FIR.
Femi-CZ Rugby Rovigo (Italy)
Valladolid Rugby (Spain)
Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma (Italy)
Heidelberger Ruderklub (Germany)
Timisoara Saracens (Romania)
Mogliano Rugby (Italy)
GD Direito (Portugal)
Royal Kituro (Belgium)
Saturday 14 November
Femi-CZ Rugby Rovigo 29 - 19 GD Direito, Stadio Mario Battaglini (15.00)
Royal Kituro 6 - 24 Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma, Plaine Wahis, Brussels (14.00)
Saturday 21 November
Valladolid Rugby 18 - 36 Timisoara Saracens, Campos de Pepe Rojo, Valladolid (16.00)
GD Direito 21 - 24 Heidelberger Ruderklub, Campo de Monsanto, Lisbon (15.00)
Royal Kituro v Femi-CZ Rugby Rovigo, Plaine Wahis (15.00) Postponed
Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma 19 - 0 Mogliano Rugby, Caserma Stefano Gelsomini (15.00)
Saturday 12 December
Timisoara Saracens v Femi-CZ Rugby Rovigo, Gheorghe Rascanu Stadium, Timisoara (13.30)
Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma v GD Direito, Caserma Stefano Gelsomini (15.00)
Mogliano Rugby v Heidelberger Ruderkclub, Stadio Quaggia (15.00)
Valladolid Rugby v Royal Kituro, Campos de Pepe Rojo (16.00)
Saturday 19 December
Timisoara Saracens v Fiamme Oro Rugby Roma, Gheorghe Rascanu Stadium (13.30)
Heidelberger Ruderklub v Royal Kituro, Heidelberger RK, Heidleberg (14.00)
Mogliano Rugby v Valladolid Rugby, Stadio Quaggia (15.00)
Saturday 9 January 2016
GD Direito v Valladolid Rugby, Campo de Monsanto (15.00)
Saturday 16 January 2016
Heidelberger Ruderklub v Timisoara Saracens, Heidelberger RK (14.00)
Femi-CZ Rugby Rovigo v Mogliano Rugby, Stadio Mario Battaglini (15.00)
Last edited by Croket66; 24-11-15 at 08:48 PM.
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24-11-15 08:43 PM
Enisei-STM and Timisoara Saracens will be part of 2016-17 European Challenge Cup.
Russian squad destroyed Rovigo (0-31 & 39-5), while Romanians beat Calvisano twice (36-23 & 17-28). Italy will only be represented in Champions and Challenge Cups through their Pro12 franchises.
2016-17 schedule. Still no Georgian team. Russia sends Krasny Yar in spite of Enisei's presence in Challenge Cup. Both Enisei and Timisoara Saracens have right to defend their place in the competition later in the season against pool winners.
I'm going to keep my eye on this as I think there could be some interesting and competitive fixtures. A little shame it didn't expand to ten teams (to perhaps include a Portuguese and another Romanian team in advance of Georgia rejoining next season). I guess we have to be realistic about how much money is behind this (probably not much) and just be grateful that there is at least some exposure between different leagues. If you win your group I think you will get six games in Europe, against five different teams. That has to help the development of these teams.
Puzzled why it is Heidelberger rather than German champs Pforzheim (possibly as only Heidelberger are professional?). Who knows where Krasni Yar will end up playing their home games.
I guess Krasni Yar will be the favourite in one group but I've no idea who will be the next strongest team. Will be interesting as there is a lot at stake.
The main question is why Italy deserves to have four clubs after failing massively last year. And the answer is probably how much does FIR invest in the competition compared to other unions. It's a shame because Portuguese clubs are often even more competitive than Spanish ones in spite of their national sides struggles.
In relation to Heidelberg situation, Pforzheim may have rejected the proposal. Gernika ended up becoming Spanish representative in Amlin Cup a few years ago after all four first clubs from División de Honor refused, and funnily enough they had the best ever results from a Spanish club with two wins against an Italian club. Much more interesting it would be to know whether HRK will still be allowed to pick players from other German clubs just for this cup.
Krasny Yar should smash pretty much everyone much like Timisoara did last year. My guess is the Italians didn't invite the Romanians for fear they can't beat their teams. Timisoara proved last year that the best teams in Superliga are better than the best teams in Excellenza and the Italian clubs would have as much trouble with Steaua Bucharest and Baia Mare as they would with Timisoara.
I believe the winners of these two pools still have the play Timisoara and Enisei STM after they qualify. We could still not see any Italian Excellenza teams in the Challenge Cup next year.
In case there is somebody interested in obscure European club rugby, SilverStorm El Salvador v Petrarca Rugby Padova is going to be live streamed on YouTube. Kick-off time is Saturday 13:00 CET:
Thanks. Will try to catch that later. I fancy El Salvador for a "surprise" victory.
Fair to say I called that horribly wrong. Caught some of the first half and whenever I was in the room El Salvador had good possession and every time I left the room and came back, Padova had scored more points. Disappointing for the Spanish league but I'm personally glad to see an excelllenza side that actually appears to have been coached okay.
Yep, it was quite a frustrating game for El Salvador. They didn't play that bad, but didn't score when they had the chance to. And it's fair to say Italian teams seem to have taken more seriously this competition that last season.
Quite harsh on Petrarca, they win *every* game convincingly, and fall only a bonus point and 8 game points short of winning their pool... but Mogliano will progress, despite having largely average results, and losing to Petrarca.
Not that it matters too much, I don't think for a minute that either could have beaten Enisey.
How does Krasny Yar compare with Timisoara? Timisoara haven't been getting great results in the Challenge Cup, but they're also in a tougher pool than Enisey.
Heidelberg has been quite the under-performer. I suspect they won't be back next season. No matter how well they do vs Belgium.
The competition really failed to take a step forward this year with HRK and El Salvador really underperforming and a system that penalised the Italian side that did best. It really could have done with another Romanian side in my opinion and hopefully they can get a bit more publicity and incorporate Georgia next year.
Originally Posted by Brigantine
It has sadly been confirmed the final of this will take place on a backup / training pitch outside Murrayfield rather than at Murrayfield itself. Mind boggling, particularly if it is a Siberian derby! Better to have a two legged final at home stadia.
However the Krasny Yar vs Timisoara semi should be a cracker. Having watched a fair bit of both sides I'd make Krasny Yar clear favourites, although it sounds like Timisoara have been misfiring this season. Krasny Yar are very much on a par with Enisei and when you compare the results and scores of Enisei and Timisoara in Europe this season there is no comparison (although Timisoara had a harder group). When they play though the Romanian Superliga will still going I think though whereas the Russian season will be long since finished. So that could make a difference.
That the top 3 Russian clubs seem stronger than the Romanian ones (despite largely being filled with Russians) but the Russian national side is so inferior to Romania (and the gap looks to be widening) is one of the great sporting riddles of the 21st century to me!
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