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EPCR reveal new Autumn dates for European finals

EPCR have postponed both the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

The EPCR have revealed the new dates for the knock out stages and finals of both European competitions.

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A statement reads: “EPCR is pleased to announce that new dates for the postponed knockout stage matches in the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been officially agreed at a meeting of its Board yesterday (Wednesday, 24 June).

“Subject to government guidelines and with the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community to the fore, it is now planned that the quarter-finals of both tournaments will be played on the weekend of 18/19/20 September with the semi-finals scheduled for the weekend of 25/26/27 September.

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“Exact fixture dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage will be announced in the near future.

“The European season will conclude with the Challenge Cup final on Friday, 16 October followed by the Heineken Champions Cup final on Saturday, 17 October. EPCR remains committed to staging the matches in Marseille, however, the situation is under review in light of public gathering and international travel restrictions which might be in place at the time of the finals.

“EPCR and the local organising committee in Marseille intend to clarify the position regarding the finals, including details of ticket refunds where applicable, as soon as possible.

“As previously communicated, new Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournament formats for the 2020/21 season are being considered as a consequence of widespread fixture disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A 24-club Heineken Champions Cup with eight representatives from each of Europe’s leading league competitions is one of the options under discussion.

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“Any changes would apply to next season’s tournaments, which are scheduled to start on the weekend of 11/12/13 December, only on an exceptional basis. An official announcement regarding formats will be made once all discussions are concluded.”

New EPCR dates
Quarter-finals: weekend of 18/19/20 September
Semi-finals: weekend of 25/26/27 September
Challenge Cup final: Friday, 16 October
Heineken Champions Cup final: Saturday, 17 October
Start of 2020/21 season: weekend of 11/12/13 December

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Shaylen 33 minutes ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

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J
Jon 6 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
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