The Challenge Cup will have a new competition format for the 2021/22 season. The second tournament in the hierarchy of the old continent will be made up of 15 teams divided into three zones.
With eyes set on the final on May 27 at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, the Challenge Cup will give istarting on the weekend of December 10, 11 and 12, 2021, to conclude the group stage, after five dates, on April 8, 9 and 10, 2022.
Grouped in three zones, each team will play four games and will have a free date. Thus, The three best classified in each group, together with the best fourth placed, will access the round of 16, where they will be mixed with the three clubs classified from 9th to 11th place of each of the groups of the Champions Cup.
With the presence of Saracens and Toulon as main candidates to stay with the contest, the Challenge Cup will have an Argentine presence in most of its teams and with the particular return of Biarritz, a historically lively team from European competitions, who have been absent for the last seven seasons.
The groups and dates for the 2021/22 Challenge Cup are detailed below:
Group A: RC Toulon, Newcastle Falcons, Zebre Rugby Club, Worcester Warriors, Biarritz Olympique
B Group: Dragons, Lyon, Gloucester Rugby, Benetton Rugby, USAP
Group C: London Irish, Edinburgh Rugby, CA Brive, Section Paloise, Saracens
Date 1 – 11/10/12 December 2021
Date 2 – 17/18/19 December 2021
Date 3 – 14/15/16 January 2022
Date 4 – 21/22/23 January 2022
Date 5 – 8/9/10 April 2022
Round of 16 – 15/16/17 April 2022
Quarterfinals – 6/7/8 May 2022
Semifinals – 13/14/15 May 2022
Final Challenge Cup – Friday May 27, 2022; Stade Vélodrome, Marseille