European Rugby Challenge Cup draw 2014/2015


Here is the draw for the European Challenge Cup next season:

Pool 1
Cardiff Blues
London Irish

Pool 2
Exeter Chiefs
Connacht Rugby
La Rochelle

Pool 3
Stade Fran├žais
Newcastle Falcons

Pool 4
Edinburgh Rugby
Bordeaux Begles
London Welsh

Pool 5
Gloucester Rugby
US Oyonnax

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

9 thoughts on “European Rugby Challenge Cup draw 2014/2015

  1. What is FIRA-AER 1?

    London Irish down at the Blues will be fun – they (fans and team) were great last time we played them, even if they were mystified as to how we won home and away because those Pro12 teams are supposed to be low intensity lightweights.

    In general though I’d say this new tournament is laughable. There’s not enough quality out there to make these group stages interesting.

    1. Brighty! – FIRA-AER1 is Italian –

      Glad to be of help!

      BTW its pronounced Ferrari – it’s a make of super car. ;-)


      1. You wouldn’t believe it but I’m not even ashamed of that “joke”! – I’m too giddy after seeing Leinster’s cushy pool -For once it’s not the pool of death!


  2. Hi Brighty, interested in your comments, what teams do you think are missing that would have made last years competition more interesting?.

    I do know what you mean about being mystified though, I thought something similar about the PRO 12 when Exeter beat you home and away last year! :p

  3. Trying to post for 2nd time … this blog is getting great at chewing up my replies …

    Hi Ray, I can always trust you to bring up those matches! How did you get on against Toulon? ;-)

    It doesn’t look like it will get interesting until the knockouts as each group looks like it has 2 clearly dominant teams – the only thing interesting will be the potential for banana skins e.g. Blues losing to Grenoble (yep, fully expect this flippancy to come back and bite me), or Gloucs losing to Zebre. Perhaps pool 3 has some bite with Dragons/Stade/Newcastle? Rugby doesn’t have the dept of football and also it has the tendency for small mismatches to be amplified on score boards, much more so that football.

    You must be confident of being in the top 2 of your group?

    I’m not complaining about the Blues being in it – we didn’t finish high enough in the league. Fine with that. It’s just that having us play FIRA-AER1 (what’s that? Romanian or Spanish or something I guess?) probably won’t do much for us or that team.

    1. Welcome to the world of ‘qualification rugby’ Brighty! The new format and seeding system seems to be a major improvement at least in the top level competition. Fewer easy rides and a more even playing field which must be good.

      Toulon was ok St Jonny did well for us but I guess we were over confidant, I mean after you’d beat them then obviously we just needed to turn up and collect the win ;) Although I did enjoy my one and only ever visit to the arms park even though I was (temporarily) locked away in the wheelchair pen your full back, farthing is it? kept dropping the ball in front of me. Seriously he really had a mare that day!

      Good luck with FIRA whatever!


      1. We will have to disagree on whether it is better Ray. All I see is a never ending chance to watch Saracens beat Saints and then get beaten by Toulon for the next few years. Over the last few years the surprise packages in groups and knockouts have been pro12 sides – semi finalists, the emergence of the Irish sides, etc. With a smaller main competition we will now just see the same sides playing each other year after year and mostly those same sides will also be playing each other in their domestic leagues.

  4. There will – apparently – be a qualifying competition for the two FIRA-AER places.

    Though quite when they’ll fit this in, is anyones guess. Perhaps the League 1A countries nominate a team each, and they play off to find the top two.

    One would imagine that for the following season it would be quite straightforward

  5. Brighty I have faith that glos won’t slip up to any minnows next season as we’ve done away with ND. You did warn us!

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