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Champions/Challenge Cup 2022/23 Draws

GlosJoe

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Gloucester

Quite pleased with that draw, if we come away with anything from these games I'll be pleased.

On a separate note though I still think that both tournaments should have 24 teams competing with spaces for minnow sides in the Challenge Cup. Then change the tier system so everyone plays their 4 games against one team from each tier.
 

duncanb

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Munster and La Rochelle for us tough for us.
 

Bruce_ma gooshvili

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That the teams exist is a good thing, but they're not really at the same level of Challenge Cup right now. We saw the Black Lions lose in the Semi Finals of the second tier Currie Cup, with what we believe was the same full strength squad (as we discussed in the tier 2 rugby chat). Similarly it's not there in terms of the support. Looking at the attendance the semi-finals of RESC got 600 and 933 attendees each.

Throwing them into Champions/Challenge Cup at this stage is just going to result in lobsided results. With more than just the inaugral season and potentially some investment and greater development in the nations it can grow, but it is way too early to be throwing those teams into this tournament. I am glad to see these teams are playing in other tournaments as well though, as mentioned with the Currie Cup, but it really does show where their current skill level is.
That is fair, but we would be talking about the winners of a competition, so you'd be picking a reasonable side. The Portuguese Lusitanos contain much of the national side that almost beat Italy last weekend, almost beat Japan in November and drew in Georgia in February. The Black Lion lost in extra time away from home to by far the best side in the Currie Cup 1st Division, which isnt a disgrace. Romania have just created a national franchise also, and last year their national side, in a strange selection made almost exclusively from one club from Bucharest spanked the Tongan national side.

Russian club sides previously defeated Brive and somebody else I can't recall in the Challenge Cup and exposure to that competition can only increase their level. These guys cannot match the funding and coaching from the top leagues but the best of them could definitely bring some competition to a second string disinterested side, which I think accurately describes a lot of Challenge Cup participants in the group stages.

Obviously I do not hide my enthusiasm for Tier 2. But setting that aside this is commercial short termism and isolationism at its worst from EPCR that does nothing to foster long term economic growth for its stakeholders. Harrumph! :p
 

Which Tyler

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I see they've gone for the bloody stupid format again - professional rugby really is doing its best to lose my interest.

Stupid format, no 3rd tier for the likes of Bath to be playing in (given the refusal to drop us from the Prem), continued ring fencing of the Prem, which has a bloody stupid format of its own, and no damns given for player welfare.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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So we have Clermont and London Irish in the CC. I see Clermont is currently at mid table in the T14. Hard to believe as the squad looks like it can put together a stacked run on XV with depth to back it up. London Irish on paper looks beatable. A team that's more than the sum of its parts? I'd say the Stormers fit that description well too. I'm thinking we'd have a shot at getting past but it'll depend on how serious we ourselves and Clermont take the tournament and I'm assuming we are taking our home games as default wins. We have the benefit of being used to more regular travel North whereas it'd be a new experience for those sides.
 
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