Scarlets among top seeds for Challenge Cup draw

Kieran Lewis News

The Scarlets will be one of the top seeds when the draw for the European Challenge Cup is made in Lausanne, Switzerland on Wednesday (1pm UK time).

They will be joined by Castres Olympique, Wasps and two other sides (either Stade Francais, Bristol Bears or Cardiff Blues) in the top tier.

It will be the first time the Scarlets have been in the competition draw, although they have featured in the second tier of Europe on two previous occasions – in 2009-10 and 2011-12 – when they finished second in their European Cup pool and so qualified for the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

The clubs will be divided into four tiers of five and a preliminary draw will be conducted to establish Tier 1 with two of the three second-ranked clubs – Stade, Bristol or the Blues – joining Scarlets, Castres and Wasps in the top tier.

Once Tier 1 has been established, the remaining three tiers will fall into place.

When the tiers are completed, the main draw for the five pools will be made.

During the draw, some clubs may have to be placed directly into a pool in order to ensure that the key principles apply.

Key principles of draw

  • The 20 Clubs which have qualified on merit from the TOP 14, Gallagher Premiership Rugby, the Guinness PRO14, the PRO D2, the Greene King IPA Championship and the Continental Shield will compete in the 2019-20 Challenge Cup in five pools of four.
  • The clubs are divided into four tiers based on the qualification positions from their respective leagues, with the Continental Shield qualifiers in Tier 4.  A draw will be carried out in advance of the pool draw proper to complete the tiers
  • Each of the five pools will include one club from each of the four tiers
  • Each pool will have at least one club from the TOP14, the Premiership and the PRO14
  • There will be no more than two clubs from the same league in a pool
  • No pool will contain two PRO14 clubs from the same country
  • Clubs from the same league will be kept apart until the Tier 4 allocation
  • A qualifier from the Continental Shield cannot be drawn into a pool which contains two TOP 14 clubs or two Premiership clubs

Click HERE for a detailed explanation of the Challenge Cup pool draw

The draw starts at 1pm (UK and Irish time) and will be streamed live on and on the official tournament Facebook pages.

The event comperes in Lausanne will be Sarra Elgan (BT Sport) and Matthieu Lartot (France Télévisions), with Bryan Habana (Channel 4) and Dimitri Yachvili (beIN SPORTS) conducting the draws.

2019-20 Challenge Cup teams

TOP 14 – Castres Olympique, Stade Français Paris, RC Toulon, Bordeaux-Bègles, Pau, Agen, Bayonne, Brive

Gallagher Premiership Rugby –  London Irish, Wasps, Bristol Bears, Worcester Warriors, Leicester Tigers

Guinness PRO14 – SCARLETS, Cardiff Blues, Edinburgh Rugby, Dragons, Zebre Rugby

Qualifiers from the Continental Shield – Enisei-STM, Rugby Calvisano