Challenge Cup 2018/19

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8 months 1 week ago #61406 by pinky
Replied by pinky on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
So Gloucester were caught for sixth place but by Bath not Sale. They will qualify via the Challenge Cup, so it'll be Sale instead of Bath as the top seeds.
We'll still avoid Clermont and Quins and get one of La Rochelle/Pau/Sale/Northampton as the top seed and one of Bordeaux/Agen/Bristol/Worcester.
Probably want to avoid Paris in Pot 4 as that could make for a tricky pool. In terms of getting a winnable pool, Agen are probably the one to hope for as they don't tend to try too hard. Bordeaux might make for a better trip though (than again Agen in only down the road from Bordeaux).
Good few teams we haven't played in recent years so could get an interesting pool.

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7 months 3 weeks ago - 7 months 1 week ago #61738 by neill_m
Replied by neill_m on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Top 14 Competition 2nd & 4th seeds drawn in Pot 2

Benetton, Sale, La Rochelle, Ospreys, Saints

Pau, Connacht, Quins, Clermont, Bordeaux

Zebre, Worcester, Dragons, Bristol, Agen

Stade, Grenoble, Perpignan, Timisoara Saracens, Enisei STM

Prem Competition 2nd & 4th seeds drawn into Pot 2


Benetton, Sale, La Rochelle, Ospreys, Pau

Saints, Connacht, Quins, Clermont, Worcester

Zebre, Bordeaux, Dragons, Bristol, Agen

Stade, Grenoble, Perpignan, Timisoara Saracens, Enisei STM

Pro 14 Competition 2nd & 4th seeds drawn into Pot 2


Benetton, Sale, La Rochelle, Pau, Saints

Ospreys, Connacht, Quins, Clermont, Zebre

Bordeaux, Worcester, Dragons, Bristol, Agen

Stade, Grenoble, Perpignan, Timisoara Saracens, Enisei STM

The mini draw will take place before the main one on June 20th.

In all three above scenarios, there is an equal chance of drawing each of the Pot 4 sides. In terms of the Pot 1 & 3 sides, the below are the possible combinations in each scenario:

No 1 - Top 14 Scenario:

4 possible outcomes - Sale & Agen, Saints & Agen, La Rochelle & Worcester, La Rochelle & Bristol

No 2 - Prem Scenario:

4 possible outcomes - Sale & Bordeaux, Sale & Agen, La Rochelle & Bristol and Pau & Bristol

No 3 - Pro 14 Scenario:

8 possible outcomes - Sale & Bordeaux, Sale & Agen, La Rochelle & Worcester, La Rochelle & Bristol, Pau & Worcester, Pau & Bristol, Saints & Bordeaux and Saints & Agen
Last edit: 7 months 1 week ago by neill_m.
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7 months 2 weeks ago #61798 by neill_m
Replied by neill_m on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Heidelberg not eligible:

On the basis that Dr Hans-Peter Wild, who is the majority shareholder of Stade Français Paris and the primary financial backer of Heidelberger RK, would be in a position to influence or to control the management or performance of two clubs in the same competition, EPCR decided that the German club could not participate.

Replacement club to be named.
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7 months 2 weeks ago #61799 by columoc
Replied by columoc on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Heildelberger out of Challenge Cup, due to potential conflict of interest of owner who also owns Stade F.
Replacement team to be announced.

Siberia again?

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7 months 2 weeks ago - 7 months 2 weeks ago #61800 by salmson
Replied by salmson on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
That's just crap, and very hard on HRK, was really hoping we'd draw them. But this is standard across longer established competitions (like European soccer) so hardly surprising.
Last edit: 7 months 2 weeks ago by salmson.
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7 months 2 weeks ago #61801 by Horsebox85
Replied by Horsebox85 on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Yeah I think it was the reason for Altrad not been allowed to invest in Gloucester a few years back

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7 months 2 weeks ago #61803 by neill_m
Replied by neill_m on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
In terms of a replacement side, they defeated Timisoara Saracens in the semi final of the Shield - so they might be the Plan B?

In Euro soccer RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg were allowed to play in the European Cup this year. Red Bull own Leipzig and are the chief sponsor of Salzburg, whom they used to own but did some "restructuring". Seems very harsh on Heidelberg, Stade will pay lip service to the Cup and focus on the Top 14. The Germans would have benefited from the experience.
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7 months 2 weeks ago - 7 months 2 weeks ago #61810 by pinky
Replied by pinky on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
You'd imagine Timisoara are in poll position alright. Calvisano could have a claim to it too. Both topped their pool and lost to HRK in the playoffs.
The question is why are they doing this now? It's hardly a secret that Wild owns both the clubs so why let HRK compete in the Continental Shield if they're not eligible to progress? Maybe with all the uncertainty over SFP, they figured they might be disbanded/relegated/owned by someone else by the time next season came round.
This being EPCR my prediction would be some kind of play-off, presumably on June 15th, the day Germany play Portugal in the World Cup qualifier.
Romania back on the potential travel itinerary so ... flights from Bergamo to Timisoara are very cheap on the relevant weekends ... it's European Capital of Culture in 2021 so we'll have that to talk to them about ...

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Last edit: 7 months 2 weeks ago by pinky.
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7 months 2 weeks ago #61825 by sea_point
Replied by sea_point on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19

pinky wrote: The question is why are they doing this now? It's hardly a secret that Wild owns both the clubs so why let HRK compete in the Continental Shield if they're not eligible to progress?. ...


Precisely known in advance, so totally unfair to the club, players and fans to deny them at this stage.

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7 months 1 week ago #61881 by neill_m
Replied by neill_m on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
2pm start time for the draws on the 20th, doing the Challenge Cup first. Benetton, Sale and La Rochelle confirmed in Pot 1. Timisoara Saracens take Heidelberg's place in Pot 4.
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7 months 6 days ago #61903 by neill_m
Replied by neill_m on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Twitter reports that Herr Wild is withdrawing his cash from German rugby on the back of the decision of the EPCR to ban Heidelberg from the Challenge Cup.

GH89‏ @GBHutch89 · 38m38 minutes ago

Replying to @T2Rugby

Apparently Herr Wild pulling his money out of German rugby, all Heidelberg RK players employed by his academy told to seek new employment. All a result of EPCR decision to ban them from CC. So @ERChallengeCup successfully crippling Tier2 rugby yet again. Germany back in dark ages

Dropgol Blog‏ @MisterXVBlog

Wild will stop all investments in German rugby and Wild Rugby Academy and German rugby Supporters will be dissolved. Apparently this is due to disqualification of HRK from @ERChallengeCup

Rough translation of the article

So close to the Portuguese game of the DRV XV, it is a message for the German rugby, which will cause a lot of unrest. Hans-Peter Wild, longtime supporter of the HRK, the Wild Rugby Academy founded by him and the DRV wants to completely discontinue his financial commitment in German rugby. In the future, the native Eppelheimer will limit himself exclusively to his involvement with the French capital club Stade Français. The reasons for this move, it was conveyed to the players concerned and the European Cup organizer (EPCR), were in the EPCR decision not to let the HRK start in the Challenge Cup.

Already in recent days, there had been increasing rumors about a held in the previous week session in which the WRA players was taught that they will be terminated on time and the entire WRA-GFR construct will be wound up. Meanwhile, this process was confirmed by several present. Some players, who have been part of this project for years in the colors of the club, reacted with disbelief and horror, because nobody expected this step. Even the trainees employed at the WRA may now have no future with their current employer.

This drastic step was justified, both in the meeting with the concerned players, as well as in a letter of the WRA to the European Cup organizer EPCR, with whose decision the Heidelberger RK does not start in the Challenge Cup. The HRK had qualified athletically for the competition via the Continental Shield, but had not been approved by the organizer - the reason for this: A possible conflict of interest, since with Stade Français another under the influence of HRK-patron Wild club is represented in the competition ,

Europapokalveranstalter EPCR: The HRK was warned by us

It should have been warned, as the organizer EPCR in a press release and in correspondence with TR sets out. In the course of last year, the European Cup organizer had warned the EPO several times with reference to the regulations. Hans-Peter Wild, as well as a meeting with the patron himself in the Swiss Nyon given. The representatives of Dr. Wild and the HRK, one insists with the EPCR, were always informed.

As the organizer already in the precedent Montpelier / Gloucester two years ago - Montpelier owner Mohammed Altrad wanted to take over the English Premiership club Gloucester Rugby, but after an explicit warning of the European Cup organizers had refrained from it - had made clear: Two clubs of the same owner will not be tolerated in the European Cup competitions. This argument is at least a bit shaky given that, for example, the Irish provinces are all under the umbrella of the IRFU.

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7 months 5 days ago #61927 by columoc
Replied by columoc on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
Wild seems to have hit the nuclear button early here, so maybe he is just playing hard ball. Heidelberg is his home town and according to Wiki he has invested in sports related activities there for a long while. Cannot believe he would just dump the club (as a businessman you would think he'd try to sell it); so there must be more going on.

He was the savior for Stade after the doomed merger attempt; I think he is a bona fide rugby guy and willing to put his money there.

I think the two clubs rule is a bit daft, it happens in football all the time (EG Chelsea and CSK Moscow) and I am not sure if it has an impact on competitions; certainly HB and Stade are not genuine competitors; and as the article points out, surely Union owned clubs are as conflicted in theory though not in practice.

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7 months 5 days ago #61933 by salmson
Replied by salmson on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
There's not really anything of HRK for Wild to *sell*. It's basically an AIL club that went Pro under Wild in the last few years. They play in a community sports complex so no more than ourselves they don't even have a stadium asset. It's a money-pit he was funding out of grá for the sport.

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7 months 1 day ago - 7 months 1 day ago #61957 by neill_m
Replied by neill_m on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
So the Challenge draw is tomorrow from 2pm (Irish Time), below is list of possible groups in terms of teams from Pots 1-3 and in brackets the scenario from the mini draw to decide which league's 2nd and 4th placed sides are placed in Pot 2:

Sale, Connacht, Agen (T14, Prem, Pro 14)
La Rochelle, Connacht, Bristol (T14, Prem, Pro 14)
La Rochelle, Connacht, Worcester (T14, Pro 14)
Saints, Connacht, Agen (T14, Pro 14)
Sale, Connacht, Bordeaux (Prem, Pro 14)
Pau, Connacht, Bristol (Prem, Pro 14)
Pau, Connacht, Worcester (Pro 14)
Saints, Connacht, Bordeaux (Pro 14)

Equal chance of drawing Stade/Grenoble/Perpignan/Timisoara Saracens/Enisei STM from Pot 4
Last edit: 7 months 1 day ago by neill_m.
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7 months 17 hours ago #61962 by superconnacht7
Replied by superconnacht7 on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19
I would like to see Pau, Connacht, Bristol (Prem, Pro 14), that would be a very tasty and tempting match up!

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7 months 8 hours ago #61963 by Fourdogs
Replied by Fourdogs on topic Challenge Cup 2018/19

superconnacht7 wrote: I would like to see Pau, Connacht, Bristol (Prem, Pro 14), that would be a very tasty and tempting match up!


With Enisei or Timisoara making up the 4 team in the pool and not a 2nd French side. :woohoo:

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