New identity for Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition
New Logo and new name for the European competition
EPCR has announced today that a new identity has been created for the Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition which will now be known as the European Rugby Continental Shield.
Established in 2015 by EPCR in conjunction with the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) and Rugby Europe, the aim of the Continental Shield is to widen the footprint of club rugby across Europe and to give both emerging and established clubs in different territories the opportunity to secure participation in the Challenge Cup.
The Continental Shield, which has already been competed for by clubs from the domestic leagues of Italy, Romania, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium, will reach its climax this season when the two qualifiers for the 2017/18 Challenge Cup play a final match at the BT Murrayfield complex on Saturday, 13 May at midday.
The line-up for the play-off stage of the Shield has been confirmed with Enisei-STM and Krasny Yar of Russia, as well as Romania's Timisoara Saracens and Mogliano Rugby from Italy, set to battle it out for those two coveted places in next season's Challenge Cup.
Krasny Yar and Mogliano have reached the play-offs as the two winners from the Continental Shield pool stage which concluded in January, while Enisei and Timisoara have qualified based on their performances in the Challenge Cup.
In the first series of play-off matches tomorrow, Mogliano will play Enisei at Stadio Maurizio Quaggia, and Krasny Yar will take on Timisoara at Rustavi Stadium in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The decisive games which will reveal the two qualifiers for the 2017/18 Challenge Cup are scheduled for Saturday, 22 April. Both clubs will then go forward to the Continental Shield final in Edinburgh.
Rankings and play-off fixtures
(The rankings are based on performances in the 2016/17 Challenge Cup and Continental Shield)
2 Timisoara Saracens
3 Krasny Yar
4 Mogliano Rugby
Tomorrow - 1 April 2017
(Kick-offs local times)
Mogliano Rugby v Enisei-STM, Stadio Maurizio Quaggia (14.30)
Krasny Yar v Timisoara Saracens, Rustavi Stadium, Tbilisi, Georgia (15.00)
Saturday, 22 April
Enisei-STM v Mogliano Rugby, Slava Stadium, Moscow, (TBC)
Timisoara Saracens v Krasny Yar, Dan Paltinisanu Stadium (14.00)
Saturday, 13 May
Continental Shield final, BT Murrayfield complex (12.00)
source : EPCR press release