EDINBURGH’S European Challenge Cup quarter-final clash against Bordeaux-Begles at Stade Chaban-Delmas will now be played on the weekend of 18th to 20th September. The match was initially meant to be played on the first weekend of April but was postponed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Tournament organisers EPCR announced the rescheduled conclusion to both the Heineken Champions Cup and the second-tier Challenge Cup [subject to government guidelines] this morning, following a meeting of its Board yesterday.
That means Richard Cockerill‘s side will have at least two, and as many as four, matches to get up to speed ahead of the quarter final, following last week’s announcement of an abbreviated end to the PRO14 season.
Should Edinburgh win their quarter-final match, the semi-finals will take place the following weekend, with the final of the Challenge Cup schedule for Friday 16th October (and the Heineken Cup Final taking place the following day).
Exact fixture dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage will be announced in the near future.
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“EPCR remains committed to staging the [final] matches in Marseille, however, the situation is under review in light of public gathering and international travel restrictions which might be in place at the time of the finals,” said a statement issued by the organisers.
“EPCR and the local organising committee in Marseille intend to clarify the position regarding the finals, including details of ticket refunds where applicable, as soon as possible.
The statement added that: “As previously communicated, new Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournament formats for the 2020-21 season are being considered as a consequence of widespread fixture disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A 24-club Heineken Champions Cup with eight representatives from each of Europe’s leading league competitions is one of the options under discussion.
“Any changes would apply to next season’s tournaments, which are scheduled to start on the weekend of 11th-13th December, only on an exceptional basis. An official announcement regarding formats will be made once all discussions are concluded.”
New EPCR dates –
- Quarter-finals: weekend of 18/19/20 September
- Semi-finals: weekend of 25/26/27 September
- Challenge Cup final: Friday, 16 October
- Heineken Champions Cup final: Saturday, 17 October
- Start of 2020/21 season: weekend of 11/12/13 December
EPCR Board –
Simon Halliday (Chairman), Philip Browne (IRFU), Darren Childs (PRL), Mark Dodson (Scottish Rugby), Fabrizio Gaetaniello (FIR), Robert Howat (Scottish Rugby), Michael Kearney (IRFU), Julie Paterson (WRU), Steve Phillips (WRU), Andrea Rinaldo (FIR), Yann Roubert (LNR), Serge Simon (FFR), Bill Sweeney (RFU).