Nineteen clubs have been confirmed for the 2018/19 Challenge Cup in what promises to be a highly-competitive tournament.
Alongside Saints, former winners such as Harlequins, Sale Sharks, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Stade Français Paris and Pau will feature when the Pool Draws for next season’s Cup are made on Wednesday 20 June in Lausanne as the first steps on the road to the 2019 Newcastle finals are mapped out.
Russia’s Enisei-STM have booked a place once again after retaining their Continental Shield title, however, Heidelberger RK, who were losing Continental Shield finalists in Bilbao, are ineligible to compete in next season’s Challenge Cup following a decision by EPCR. A replacement club will be announced shortly.
The 2017/18 Challenge Cup final was held at Bilbao’s San Mamés Stadium with Cardiff Blues edging out Gloucester Rugby 31-30 in front of 32,543 spectators.
CHALLENGE CUP 2018/19
Gallagher Premiership Rugby (5): Sale Sharks, Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Worcester Warriors, Bristol Bears
Guinness PRO14 (5): Benetton Rugby, Ospreys, Connacht Rugby, Zebre Rugby Club, Dragons
TOP 14 (8): La Rochelle, Pau, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Bordeaux-Bègles, Agen, Stade Français Paris, Perpignan, Grenoble
Continental Shield (2): Enisei-STM, TBC