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Will Carpenter


Posted Wednesday, June 19th 2019

Challenge Cup draw: everything you need to know

Bristol Bears have been drawn in Pool Four in this season's 2019/20 European Challenge Cup at this afternoon's draw in Lausanne, Switzerland - here's everything you need to know about the draw.

Our opponents:

Stade Français

The famous Stade Français are based in the French capital, Paris and play their home games at  Stade Jean-Bouin.

Stade finished eighth in the French Top 14 last season, winning 14 of their 26 games.

Zebre Rugby

Bristol Bears faced Zebre in the pool stage of last season's Challenge Cup, winning the home game 43-22 before going down 20-17 in Parma.

The Parma-based club finished bottom of Conference B in the Guinness Pro 14 last season, winning just three games.  

CA Brive Rugby

Despite losing the play-off final to Bayonne, Brive still gained promotion back to the Top 14 thanks to a victory over Grenoble in a promotion/relegation play-off last Sunday.

Brive play their home games at Stade Amédée-Domenech. 

Fixture dates:

As Rugby World Cup 2019 takes centre stage next autumn, EPCR’s tournaments will get underway later than usual with the kick-off scheduled for mid-November just under a fortnight after the World Cup final in Yokohama on November 2nd, 2019.

The tournaments will then revert to their customary weekends in December 2019 and January 2020 with the quarter-finals and semi-finals set for early April and early May respectively.

Following the publication of the three domestic professional league calendars, EPCR will liaise with Premiership Rugby, PRO14 Rugby and Ligue Nationale de Rugby to finalise the fixture details, which are anticipated to be released in the first half of August, although no date is currently confirmed.

They have, however, confirmed the EPCR weekends for the 2019/20 season, as seen below:

Round 1: 15/16/17 November 2019
Round 2: 22/23/24 November 2019
Round 3: 6/7/8 December 2019
Round 4: 13/14/15 December 2019
Round 5: 10/11/12 January 2020
Round 6: 17/18/19 January 2020
Quarter-finals: 3/4/5 April 2020
Semi-finals: 1/2/3 May 2020

2020 finals – Stade de Marseille
Challenge Cup final – Friday, May 22nd
Heineken Champions Cup final – Saturday, May 23rd

Word from the camp:

"We're excited about the Challenge Cup campaign and testing ourselves against three talented sides. We were happy to reach the knockout stages of last season’s competition, and we’re relishing the opportunity and challenge of improving on that this time around.”

Pat Lam, Director of Rugby

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