EDINBURGH will play home and away matches against French Top14 runners-up Castres and English Premiership runners-up Saracens in the pool stage of next seasons’ European Champions Cup.
Mike Blair‘s side will compete in Pool A of the competition – which also features the Bulls, Union Bordeaux-Begles, Harlequins, Leinster, Racing 92, Gloucester, Sharks, Lyon and Exeter Chiefs – aiming to pick up enough league points to finish top eight (out of 12) in the table so as to progress to the round of 16.
Edinburgh secured an impressive 21-18 victory over Saracens at the StoneX Stadium in the opening pool match of last year’s Challenge Cup, so will be hoping for a repeat performance during the coming campaign.
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Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors will play home and away matches against Bath and Perpignan in Pool A of the European Challenge Cup. The other teams in the pool are RC Toulon, Bristol Bears, Connacht Rugby, Cardiff Rugby, CA Brive, Newcastle Falcons and Zebre Parma.
Warriors have never faced Perpignan in a competitive fixture, with former Glasgow prop Siua Halanukonuka part of a Catalan squad also containing Argentinian international duo Martin Landajo and Jeronimo de la Fuente.
Warriors and Bath are familiar foes, having faced each other on eight previous occasions in European competition.
Former Glasgow prop D’arcy Rae will be returning to Scotstoun with his team-mates from Bath, along with Scotland internationals Cam Redpath and Josh Bayliss.
Pool B consists of Scarlets, Section Paloise, Wasps, Lions, Benetton Rugby, Stade Francais Paris, Worcester Warriors, Dragons RFC, Bayonne and Cheetahs.
These matches will be played home and away over four weekends in December and January, with exact fixture details and kick-off times to be confirmed in due course.
2022-23 Challenge Cup weekends –
- Round 1 – 9th-11th December 2022
- Round 2 – 16th-18th December 2022
- Round 3 – 13th-15th January 2023
- Round 4 – 20th-22nd January 2023
- Round of 16 – 31st March-2nd April 2023
- Quarter-finals – 7th-9th April 2023
- Semi-finals – 28th-30th April 2023
- EPCR Challenge and Champions Cup Finals – Friday 19th-20th May 2023 at Aviva Stadium, Dublin
I guess it depends what shape Glasgow are in next season. Who is going to the be new head coach? Does he have time to put his stamp of the squad he will inherit?
Given that some of his senior players may return from South America needing a rest or medical treatment it is a tall order to ” hit the ground running”.
Wow that’s a tough call for Edinburgh, the runners up in both leagues – a real test for the team. We’ll need to win both home games.
So Glasgow play the French runners-up and a bunch of English cheats. Bad luck.
Erm, should that read Edinburgh play the French runners up and…?
Certainly looks a tough draw but at least it does mean they dodged the Top 14 and English Premiership winners -(that’s the challenge set for the Ospreys)
We only have to finish top 8 out of 12. Sounds doable, but there are no mugs in Section A, perhaps that might help us if they all take points from each other. Looks like a couple of good squad signings would go a long way to help things, but I suspect the coffers are pretty tight, so we’ll have to hope for a good run without major injuries.
Now, how do you get to Castres?
Glasgow however, have got to be thinking of a good run at the silverware.
You are right my mistake. It is Edinburgh who will have to play the English cheats.