Connacht learn time and venue for Challenge Cup quarter-final

Pat Lam’s team will travel to France to play Bernard Jackman’s Grenoble in April

Connacht play Grenoble in their Challenge Cup quarter final on April 9th. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Connacht play Grenoble in their Challenge Cup quarter final on April 9th. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

As the Six Nations takes centre stage in the coming weeks, fans of the European club game will be able to look forward to even more world-class action in April when the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals get underway.

Pat Lam’s Connacht team are the only Irish side remaining in either competition, and they face former Leinster hooker Bernard Jackman’s Grenoble side in the Challenge Cup quarter final.

Connacht travel to Stade des Alpes on April 9th, with the winner travelling to either Harlequins or London Irish from the 22nd to the 24th April in the semi-final.

The knockout stages of the tournaments mark the beginning of the end of the journey to the 2016 finals in May when the two showcase matches will be staged at the state-of-the-art 59,000-capacity Grand Stade de Lyon.

A major weekend of knockout rugby will commence with the first of the Challenge Cup quarter-finals between Sale Sharks and Montpellier at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday April 8th, with holders Gloucester Rugby, who are on a record run of 15 victories in the tournament, up against the Newport Gwent Dragons at Kingsholm the following day.

The Champions Cup quarter-finals kick off on Saturday April 9th with Wasps, the last Aviva Premiership club to win the coveted title in 2007, taking on the Exeter Chiefs at the Ricoh Arena.

That clash of the two-time champions against the first-timers in the knockout stage will be followed by the meeting of No 1 seeds Saracens, who have reached the last eight for the fifth season in a row, and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park.

All eight quarter-finals will be broadcast live with the coverage shared by BT Sport, Sky Sports, beIN Sports and France Télévisions.

European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals

(All kick-offs local time)

Friday 8th April

QF3: Sale Sharks v Montpellier, AJ Bell Stadium (19.45) Sky Sports / beIN Sports

Saturday 9th April

QF4: Gloucester Rugby v Newport Gwent Dragons, Kingsholm (12.45) Sky Sports

QF1: Harlequins v London Irish, Twickenham Stoop (20.05) BT Sport

QF2: Grenoble v Connacht Rugby, Stade des Alpes (21.05) FR 4 / BT Sport / beIN Sports

Semi-final 1: Harlequins or London Irish v Grenoble or Connacht Rugby

Semi-final 2: Sale Sharks or Montpellier v Gloucester Rugby or Newport Gwent Dragons

(Matches to be played on 22/23/24th April)

Challenge Cup final: Friday, 13th May; Grand Stade de Lyon (21.00)

European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals

(All kick-offs local time)

Saturday 9th April

QF2: Wasps v Exeter Chiefs, Ricoh Arena (15.15) BT Sport / beIN Sports

QF1: Saracens v Northampton Saints, Allianz Park (17.45) Sky Sports / beIN Sports

Sunday 10th April

QF4: Leicester Tigers v Stade Francais Paris, Welford Road (13.45) BT Sport / beIN Sports

QF3: Racing 92 v RC Toulon, Stade Yves-du-Manoir (17.15) FR 2 / Sky Sports / beIN Sports

Semi-final 1: Saracens or Northampton Saints v Wasps or Exeter Chiefs

Semi-final 2: Racing 92 or RC Toulon v Leicester Tigers or Stade Francais Paris

(Matches to be played on 23/24th April)

Champions Cup final: Saturday, 14th May; Grand Stade de Lyon (17.45)

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