Connacht travel to Brive, Worcester and Oyonnax in the Challenge Cup next season


centre of briveIt's early days yet but the Clan are making provisonal plans to travel.

When: TBC (October, December and January)
Where:

Stade Amédée-Domenech, Brive-la-Gaillarde

Sixways Stadium, Worcester

Stade Charles-Mathon, Oyonnax

Getting there

We will create individual pages for each trip closer to the fixtures announcement, but here is some preliminary information.

Worcester

Worcester is only about an hour from Birmingham Airport by train. There are plenty of flights to there from Shannon, Knock and Dublin.

Oyonnax

Lyon is the handiest airport for Oyonnax and has direct flights from Dublin with Aer Lingus almost daily all year. It's a little over an hour by road from LYS but takes over two hours by train. If we have sufficient numbers, the Clan will organise a bus from Lyon Airport.

Geneva is also very close and has year-round flights with Aer Lingus. It is a similar distance by train.

Brive

If the game is in October, there are direct flights to Toulouse and Bordeaux. In December or January, the Toulouse flights are not available, but Bordeaux is still an option. There are trains from both (about 2.5h from the station) or, numbers permitting, the Clan can arrange a bus from the relevant airport.

 

More information

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pinky's Avatar
pinky replied to the topic: #55464 1 month 1 week ago
Bookies threw up a few odds and interestingly Connacht are just about in the top 8, longer odds than Newcastle or Edinburgh, but shorter than any of the teams in the group, so the market reckons they'll top the pool, but have no chance in the knockouts (or something like that) ...

(they also have Oyonnax joint last in the reckoning for the Top14, which is no surprise, but Brive are just about above them - making them serious relegation candidates by that reckoning, which I wasn't really expecting)
Borders no.2's Avatar
Borders no.2 replied to the topic: #55462 1 month 1 week ago
Not the most glamorous draw but I just want to see us progress and that pool is very winnable. Would be great to get a home knock out game at the Sportsground again.

Brive had one or two bad years but generally give this competition a decent go. We owe them one for the game we gifted to them in France in January 2016.

You'd imagine Worcester and Oyonnax will be too worried with their domestic situation to get too pushed about it.

Considering we were 2nd seed that's a more than acceptable draw. Cardiff got little reward for being top seed.
Fourdogs's Avatar
Fourdogs replied to the topic: #55461 1 month 1 week ago
Holyhead to Worcester is only 3 and half hours by car so might look at a road trip for this one.
salmson's Avatar
salmson replied to the topic: #55460 1 month 1 week ago
Weekends for rounds 1 to 6 are:
12-15 October
19-22 October
7-10 December
14-17 December
11-14 January
18-21 January

The fixtures for last season were announced on August 19.
Carty in the USA's Avatar
Carty in the USA replied to the topic: #55459 1 month 1 week ago
Do we know when these fixtures will be announced?
pinky's Avatar
pinky replied to the topic: #55458 1 month 1 week ago
Just noticed that Aer Lingus fly to Bordeaux in winter now 4 days a week so that could come in handy for Brive. (Last couple of years those flights stopped in October).
As of now, the flights in December and January are very pricey but mightn't stay that way. If that game is in October, Toulouse is an option too. It's about 2.5 hours from either by train.
Oyonnax is close to Lyon and Geneva, which have year round flights for decent value. Not sure what the public transport situation is there but will take a look. If we have numbers we can organise a bus from the relevant airport straight to the appointed pub.
Worcester is dead handy to get to from BHX.
wp_rathead's Avatar
wp_rathead replied to the topic: #55457 1 month 1 week ago
I'm gonna guess that the 3 best runners up are coming from Pool 1, 3 and 4 - and just the winners of Pool 2 and 5 will qualify
Out pool is winnable though

If we finish as 5th seeds means an away quarter final but a guaranteed home semi final
If we finish as 4th seeds means a home quarter final but a guaranteed away semi final

The clubs ranked 1 to 4 will have home advantage for the quarter-finals as follows:

Club 1 v Club 8 (QF1)
Club 4 v Club 5 (QF2)
Club 3 v Club 6 (QF3)
Club 2 v Club 7 (QF4)

NB The format for the semi-final matches in the Challenge Cup recognises performances by clubs during the pool stages as well as the achievement of a winning a quarter-final match away from home.

The winner of QF1 will play the winner of QF2 in one semi-final, and the winner of QF3 will play the winner of QF4 in the other semi-final as follows:

Semi-final 1: winner QF1 v winner QF2
Semi-final 2: winner QF3 v winner QF4

The semi-final matches will be played at home venues, and the following clubs will have home venue advantage in their respective semi-final matches:

(a) For Semi-final 1

If the clubs ranked 1 and 4 win their QFs, the club ranked 1 will have home venue advantage

If the clubs ranked 1 and 5 win their QFs, the club ranked 5 will have home home venue advantage

If the clubs ranked 8 and 4 win their QFs, the club ranked 8 will have home venue advantage

If the clubs ranked 8 and 5 win their QFs, the club ranked 5 will have home venue advantage

(b) For Semi-final 2

If the clubs ranked 3 and 2 win their QFs, the club ranked 2 will have home venue advantage

If the clubs ranked 3 and 7 win their QFs, the club ranked 7 will have home venue advantage

If the clubs ranked 6 and 2 win their QFs, the club ranked 6 will have home venue advantage

If the clubs ranked 6 and 7 win their QFs, the club ranked 6 will have home venue advantage
ConnachtCows's Avatar
ConnachtCows replied to the topic: #55455 1 month 1 week ago
Oyonnax is very close to Geneva. Therefore, duty free :D

That or Worscter sound live fun. All depending on the dates
EnricoPalazzo's Avatar
EnricoPalazzo replied to the topic: #55454 1 month 1 week ago

pinky wrote: They are terrible at explaining the rules during the draw though (probably because the guys doing it don't fully understand them and are just reading the instructions off the screen).
They were very careful to explain (in French) the rule about a Russian team not being allowed to be drawn with two French teams even though it's totally a redundant rule, but it would be simple enough to say "Worcester have to go into Pool 5 because it's the only one left without a Premiership team in it" rather than mumbling something about key principles.
Anyway, it's done now. Northampton's reward for winning the playoff (which would have been our pool if you ignore chaos theory) is Saracens, Clermont and Ospreys. Mouthwateringly insurmountable.


To be honest Pinky, I'm supposed to be working, so was watching it out of one eye with the sound down. So its kind of my own fault that I got the wrong end of stick!
MulMan's Avatar
MulMan replied to the topic: #55453 1 month 1 week ago
Was thinking that too, if we'd got in away trips to Allianz and Marcel Michelin would have been very tough, but let's hope we can do a good job in the Challenge cup, great draw for the Irish in the Champions cup I thought
pinky's Avatar
pinky replied to the topic: #55452 1 month 1 week ago
They are terrible at explaining the rules during the draw though (probably because the guys doing it don't fully understand them and are just reading the instructions off the screen).
They were very careful to explain (in French) the rule about a Russian team not being allowed to be drawn with two French teams even though it's totally a redundant rule, but it would be simple enough to say "Worcester have to go into Pool 5 because it's the only one left without a Premiership team in it" rather than mumbling something about key principles.
Anyway, it's done now. Northampton's reward for winning the playoff (which would have been our pool if you ignore chaos theory) is Saracens, Clermont and Ospreys. Mouthwateringly insurmountable.
galway joey's Avatar
galway joey replied to the topic: #55451 1 month 1 week ago

salmson wrote: Brive - W8 L4 in last 2 seasons in Challenge Cup. So not great from a qualification or travel POV.
Worcester - Nice place, reputedly a good stadum to visit, and they don't give a toss (W2, L10) the last few years.
Oyannax - Little over an hour from Geneva. Playing wise the last few times they were in this competition they fell between the other 2 in terms of performance.


Worcester stadium is not long upgraded and they have done a great job. Tickets can be difficult to get for big games and expensive.

Worcester should be a nice town for travelling support, I have only ever driven through it but has plenty of pubs and character.
EnricoPalazzo's Avatar
EnricoPalazzo replied to the topic: #55450 1 month 1 week ago
So what do we know about Oyonnax, they topped the D2 this year so that's not bad!
EnricoPalazzo's Avatar
EnricoPalazzo replied to the topic: #55449 1 month 1 week ago
Thanks guys I completely forgot about that! Doe!
connemara man's Avatar
connemara man replied to the topic: #55448 1 month 1 week ago
Enrico in the first 3 pools they are keeping teams from the same league apart.
salmson's Avatar
salmson replied to the topic: #55447 1 month 1 week ago

EnricoPalazzo wrote: Alright, I'm looking at the champion cup draw and somehow I feel i'm not understanding something. Why is it for the second and third place in each pool, all of the numbered pool balls don't go into the container?


Because at the end of Tier 3 draw you want one team from each league in each pool. The punishment of being drawn into a pool with another team from your league is reserved for the Tier 4 sides. This has been the way from the very beginning of European competition.
EnricoPalazzo's Avatar
EnricoPalazzo replied to the topic: #55446 1 month 1 week ago
Alright, I'm looking at the champion cup draw and somehow I feel i'm not understanding something. Why is it for the second and third place in each pool, all of the numbered pool balls don't go into the container?
salmson's Avatar
salmson replied to the topic: #55445 1 month 1 week ago
Brive - W8 L4 in last 2 seasons in Challenge Cup. So not great from a qualification or travel POV.
Worcester - Nice place, reputedly a good stadum to visit, and they don't give a toss (W2, L10) the last few years.
Oyannax - Little over an hour from Geneva. Playing wise the last few times they were in this competition they fell between the other 2 in terms of performance.
Rex's Avatar
Rex replied to the topic: #55444 1 month 1 week ago
Decent draw, but not too glamourous. Branch marketing dept may have it's work cut out getting the crowds in for these games
MulMan's Avatar
MulMan replied to the topic: #55443 1 month 1 week ago
Not too bad of a draw, but is right in the middle of reasonably handy draw and one to get competitive fixtures from, I'd expect us to get out but two away trips to France is never easy
EnricoPalazzo's Avatar
EnricoPalazzo replied to the topic: #55442 1 month 1 week ago
I've edited this because I don't want anybody to get the wrong idea, But I have to say the I think they make this draw overly complicated.
pinky's Avatar
pinky replied to the topic: #55441 1 month 1 week ago
Very doable.
I just hope we get Brive away in October when it's easy to get to. Oyonnax is handy enough.
pinky's Avatar
pinky replied to the topic: #55440 1 month 1 week ago
Oyonnax ..
EnricoPalazzo's Avatar
EnricoPalazzo replied to the topic: #55439 1 month 1 week ago
Edited see other comment below!
salmson's Avatar
salmson replied to the topic: #55438 1 month 1 week ago
With Irish gone we have to get Worcester