For the first time since 2012 the Guinness PRO14 will be represented by five teams in the Champions Cup Quarter-Finals with Edinburgh Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Ulster Rugby, Munster Rugby and Leinster Rugby all reaching the knock-out stages.
The feat of both Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors reaching the final eight is a historic achievement as it is the first time that two Scottish teams have qualified together for that stage of the competition.
It continues a remarkable run of form by teams from the Guinness PRO14 in Europe over the past three years with 11 appearances in the Quarter-Finals. The line-up of fixtures also guarantees two teams from the Championship in the Semi-Finals with Leinster facing Ulster and Edinburgh playing host to Munster.
Teams from the Guinness PRO14 also put forward their best collective performance of recent seasons with 22 wins against non-PRO14 opponents in the Champions Cup.
Across the past three seasons the win ratio of teams from the Guinness PRO14 against pool-stage opponents from outside the Championship is 55.88% while this season’s figure is higher at 64.7%.
A total of 131 tries also equalled the best-ever collective return from teams in the Guinness PRO14 in the pool stages reaching the same tally set in 2016/17.
2018/19 Pool stage record of teams from the Guinness PRO14 against non-PRO14 opponents
Win ratio: 64.7%
2016-19 Pool stage record of teams from the Guinness PRO14 against non-PRO14 opponents
Win ratio: 55.88%
Edinburgh’s five wins in Pool 5 equalled their Pool stage totals from 2003-04 and 2011-12 when they also reached the Quarter-Finals and this will be their first appearance in the knock-out stages since reaching the Semi-Finals in 2012.
Ulster and Glasgow Warriors also return the Quarter-Finals while Munster have reached a record 18th Quarter-Final while defending champions Leinster have qualified for their 14th.
Munster will head into the knock-out stages with the best defensive record in the tournament having conceded just 72 points. Leinster also set the pace in attack with their total of 204 points and 27 tries making them the top-scoring side throughout the Pool Stages
Connacht Rugby were the only team from the Guinness PRO14 to reach the knock-out stages of the Challenge Cup.
Connacht will be away to their Pool-stage opponents Sale Sharks and will make their 10th appearance in the Quarter-Finals of the Challenge Cup.
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