European Rugby Tickets
European Rugby Tickets
To see some of the best European rugby clubs, many fans rely on the matches organised by the European Professional Club Rugby. This governing body is responsible for the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the European Rugby Champions Cup, which replaced the popular Heineken Cup in 2014. The EPCR brings together some of the best European talent playing in England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales rugby clubs. So whether you're a fan of Gloucester, Brive or the Llanelli Scarlets, you'll likely have a chance to see them compete in one of two tournaments.
About the European Rugby Cup and the Heineken Cup
From 1995 to 2014, the European Rugby Cup organised the Heineken Cup, which featured some of the best European rugby clubs competing against one another. To make the tournament format and revenue split more equitable, the European Professional Club Rugby took over the European Rugby Cups organisational responsibilities. The Heineken Cup was responsible for some of the greatest moments in rugby, such as 2003's Miracle Match, 2004's Rob Howley's try against Toulouse, and 2011's Jonny Sexton quick-fire double early against Northampton.
When the Heineken Cup ended, the EPCR then established two cups, the European Rugby Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup to replace the lost tournaments. In these tournaments, only 20 teams compete versus 24 teams that competed for the Heineken Cup, and the EPCR is based in Switzerland, rather than Dublin.
The History of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Started in 2014, the Castres Olympique played against the Harlequins in the opening game of the European Rugby Champions Cup on October 17th of that year. This tournament is for the top-tier teams that year. The best six teams in the English Premiership compete, as well as the top six teams from France's Top 14. The top team from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales, as determined by their Pro12 performance, also attend. The next three best teams not already qualified in the Pro12 also qualify. There's also one additional team, determined by a play-off, that can come from any of the six included countries.
More About the European Rugby Challenge Cup History
Teams that don't qualify for the Champions Cup may qualify to compete in the European Rugby Challenge Cup. This tournament is the successor to the European Challenge Cup. The Challenge Cup invites the top teams that did not qualify for the Champions Cup from the English Premiership, the Pro12 and the Top 14.
For the remaining slots, teams compete against one another in a completely new tournament called the Qualifying Competition. This tournament lets eight smaller clubs and countries outside of the six nations get a chance to compete for the Challenge Cup. Clubs from Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Romania and Spain have all earned the right to play in the Qualifying Competition to win one of two spots.
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