Who Needs What In Round 4 Of Challenge Cup To Qualify For Round of 16


For some, it’s about a home tie, for others, it’s about merely ensuring progress. Here is a rundown of who needs to achieve what in the last round of the Investec Champions Cup pool stage.

Pool 1 - Both Union Bordeaux-Bègles and Lyon are already through to the Round of 16, with the former needing a point from their trip to Vodacom Bulls on Saturday to clinch a home tie. Lyon could still snaffle top spot in the pool if they win at Saracens on the same day and Union Bordeaux-Bègles leave Loftus Versfeld pointless. Either way, a Lyon win guarantees them a home Round of 16 tie.

Vodacom Bulls will qualify with a point of any kind but need a win for any chance of a home tie, coupled with a Lyon defeat or draw.

Meanwhile, Bristol Bears, who travel to Connacht Rugby on Friday, and Saracens need to outdo each other in their respective matches, with the better performance qualifying. The Irish province need a big win over Bristol Bears and a Saracens defeat to Lyon to have any chance of continuing.

Pool 2 - Stade Toulousain, Bath Rugby and Harlequins have all guaranteed themselves Round of 16 rugby. Harlequins could still seal a home tie with a big bonus-point win over Ulster Rugby at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday and a pointless defeat for either Stade Toulousain or Bath Rugby in their clash in France on Sunday.

Below that trio, all the other teams are in contention, but if Ulster Rugby can burgle a win in London, then both Racing 92 and Cardiff Rugby are out.

If the Irish province lose, Racing 92 will grab qualification by beating Cardiff Rugby in Paris on Saturday, while the Welsh region would do the same, although they might need a bonus point as well.

Pool 3 - Northampton Saints and Exeter Chiefs are both through and unless Munster Rugby hammer Northampton Saints at Thomond Park on Saturday and Exeter Chiefs collapse at Aviron Bayonnais on Sunday, the Gallagher Premiership pair will be at home in the Round of 16.

While Munster Rugby need only a point to ensure qualification, Glasgow Warriors have to beat RC Toulon at Scotstoun Stadium on Friday to join them.

Aviron Bayonnais can qualify with a win and an RC Toulon victory, but they would need to match their TOP 14 rivals in bonus points too, while RC Toulon can qualify by beating Glasgow Warriors along with an Exeter Chiefs triumph.

Pool 4 - Leinster Rugby can sleep easiest, having already qualified and needing only a bonus point from their trip to Leicester Tigers on Saturday for a home Round of 16 tie.

Last-placed Stade Français Paris are the only club in the competition who have no mathematical chance of qualifying for the Round of 16. The best they can do is a place in the EPCR Challenge Cup by beating DHL Stormers on Saturday in France.

Otherwise, it’s intrigue everywhere. From the Sale Sharks v Stade Rochelais tie at Salford Stadium on Sunday, whoever wins is through and a bonus-point win could seal a home tie for either too.

Both Leicester Tigers and DHL Stormers could still grab a home tie as well, but the Gallagher Premiership club need to deny Leinster Rugby any kind of bonus, score four tries themselves and win by 38 to guarantee it.

Meanwhile, DHL Stormers need to come away from Paris with a bonus-point win to guarantee a Round of 16 tie in Cape Town.

The bottom line is whoever does best between DHL Stormers and Leicester Tigers has home rugby in the next round.