British and Irish Cup

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British and Irish Cup
Current season or competition:
2015–16 British and Irish Cup
British & Irish Cup.svg
Competition logo
Sport Rugby union
Instituted 2009; 7 years ago (2009)
Inaugural season 2009–10
Number of teams 20
Nations  England
Ireland Ireland
 Scotland (until 2014)
Holders England London Welsh (2015–16)
Most titles Ireland Leinster A (2 titles)

The British and Irish Cup is an annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs and the reserves or developing teams from professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. It took place for the first time in the 2009–10 season and the eight competition takes place in the 2016–17 season.

A total of twenty-four teams from England (twelve), Ireland (three), Scotland (three) and Wales (six) competed in the inaugural competition. This remained the case for the first three seasons, though the format has varied slightly in each season. For the 2012–13 season, the competition was expanded to thirty-two teams; England (twelve), Ireland (four), Scotland (four), and Wales (twelve) and for the first time, pool stage games were played on a "home and away" basis. For the 2013–14 season the number of teams competing was reduced to twenty-four, with the Welsh entrants reduced from twelve to four, and the following season the competition was reduced to twenty teams with the withdrawal of the Scottish clubs.[1]

As of the 2015-16 season, Welsh teams will be represented by regional Premiership Select sides from the four Welsh regions[2]


Year Winner Score Runner-up Venue Attendance
2009–10 Cornish Pirates England 23 – 14 Ireland Munster A Recreation Ground, Camborne 4,240
2010–11 Bristol England 17 – 14 England Bedford Blues Memorial Ground, Bristol 4,375
2011–12 Munster A Ireland 31 – 12 Wales Cross Keys Musgrave Park, Cork 3,000
2012–13 Leinster A Ireland 18 – 17 England Newcastle Falcons Kingston Park, Newcastle 3,838
2013–14 Leinster A Ireland 44 – 17 England Leeds Carnegie Donnybrook, Dublin 2,024
2014–15 Worcester Warriors England 35 – 5 England Doncaster Knights Castle Park, Doncaster 3,115
2015–16 London Welsh England 33 - 10 England Yorkshire Carnegie Headingley Stadium, Leeds 3,107


2009–10 Competition[edit]

The inaugural competition was contested by 24 teams:

The teams were divided into four pools of six, playing over five weekends during the Autumn International and Six Nations windows, with semi-finals on 24 and 25 April and the final on 16 May.[3][4]

Each team played each of the other five teams in its pool once (home or away). Two English teams (Cornish Pirates and Doncaster) and two Irish teams (Munster A and Ulster Ravens) topped their respective pools leading to an all-English semi-final and an all-Irish semi-final. Cornish Pirates defeated Munster A in the inaugural final.

Semi-finals Final
25 April 2010 - Camborne
  England Cornish Pirates 43  
  England Doncaster 5  
16 May 2010 - Camborne
      England Cornish Pirates 23
    Ireland Munster A 14
24 April 2010 - Thomond Park
  Ireland Munster A 27
  Ireland Ulster Ravens 3  

2010–11 Competition[edit]

The allocation of teams for the second season was very similar to that of the first:

The format closely mirrored that of the first season, the only difference being the introduction of a quarter final stage

The teams were divided into four pools of six, playing over five weekends during the Autumn International and Six Nations windows, with quarter-finals on 5 or 6 March, semi-finals on 23 April and the final on 7 May. Each team played each of the other five teams in its pool once (home or away), with the top two teams in each pool qualifying for the knock-out stages:

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
5 March 2011 - Sardis Road        
 Wales Pontypridd  12
23 April 2011 - Sardis Road
 Wales Llanelli  10  
 Wales Pontypridd  25
6 March 2011 - Memorial Stadium
     England Bristol  36  
 England Bristol  29
7 May 2011 - Memorial Stadium
 Scotland Ayr  19  
 England Bristol  17
5 March 2011 - Goldington Road    
   England Bedford Blues  14
 England Bedford Blues  50
23 April 2011 - Goldington Road
 Ireland Leinster A  15  
 England Bedford Blues  43
5 March 2011 - Sixways Stadium
     England Worcester Warriors  27  
 England Worcester Warriors  57
 England Moseley  15  

2011–12 Competition[edit]

The allocation of teams for the third season was identical to that of the second season:

The pool stage saw a change in format and consisted of six pools of four teams playing cross-pool matches, giving each team two home and two away matches. Matches between English teams were played mid-week. Pool matches took place from 21 September to 18 December. The top team from each pool qualified for the quarter-finals, together with the two runners–up with the best records.[5][6]

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
22 January 2012 – Donnybrook        
 Ireland Leinster A  32
6 April 2012 – RDS
 Wales Pontypridd  0  
 Ireland Leinster A  29
20 January 2012 – Ravenhill
     Ireland Munster A  36  
 Ireland Ulster Ravens  9
27 April 2012 – Musgrave Park
 Ireland Munster A  20  
 Ireland Munster A  31
21 January 2012 – Pandy Park    
   Wales Cross Keys  12
 Wales Cross Keys  32
7 April 2012 – Pandy Park
 Wales Llanelli  8  
 Wales Cross Keys  20
22 January 2012 – Mennaye Field
     England Cornish Pirates  16  
 England Cornish Pirates  33
 England Nottingham  3  

2012–13 Competition[edit]

The competition was considerably revamped, with expansion from 24 to 32 teams playing each other home and away in the pool stages (previously, pool matches were played home or away). The allocation of teams for the fourth season was therefore:

The pool stage saw a considerable change in format and consisted of eight pools of four teams, giving each team three home and three away matches. Pool matches took place on the same weekends as the Heineken and Amlin Cups. The top team from each pool qualified for the quarter-finals.[7]

The final round of pool matches, due to be played on the weekend of 18/19/20 January, was considerably disrupted. Of 16 matches, 7 were postponed: Connacht Eagles v Newport was not played until 27 April, the weekend of the semi-finals.

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
6 April 2013 - Goldington Road        
  England Bedford Blues   32
27 April 2013 - Goldington Road
  Wales Llanelli   18  
  England Bedford Blues   15
5 April 2013 - Kingston Park
      England Newcastle Falcons   18  
  England Newcastle Falcons   72
17 May 2013 – Kingston Park
  England Nottingham   17  
  England Newcastle Falcons   17
7 April 2013 - Mennaye Field    
    Ireland Leinster A   18
  England Cornish Pirates   9
26 April 2013 - Garryowen FC
  Ireland Munster A   10  
  Ireland Munster A   15
7 April 2013 - Memorial Stadium
      Ireland Leinster A   17  
  England Bristol   26
  Ireland Leinster A   30  

2013–14 Competition[edit]

The number of teams playing in the fifth competition was reduced from thirty-two to twenty-four, with a reduction of Welsh teams from twelve to four:

The twelve Principality Premiership Teams participated in regional play-offs which saw Aberavon, Cross Keys, Llanelli, and Pontypridd qualify for the competition proper.

The pool stage consisted of six pools of four teams, giving each team three home and three away matches. The top team from each group qualified for the quarter-finals, along with two runners-up with the best playing records.[8] The ranking criteria of the quarter finalists has been altered slightly from earlier seasons. Previously, the six pool winners were seeded 1-6 and the two runners up as 7 and 8. This meant that the best runners-up were automatically ranked 7 and 8 even if they had a better playing record than some of the teams ranked 1-6. This is no longer the case.[9]

The draw for the knockout stage was carried out on 27 January 2014.[10] The top four seeds (Leinster A, Leeds Carnegie, Cornish Pirates and Bristol) had home advantage in the quarter-finals.[11] On 14 April, it was announced that the final would be played at the home of the winner of the Pontypridd / Leinster A semi-final.[12] This game ended as a 22 all draw after extra time; Leinster won on tries scored (3 – 1).[13] Leinster A beat Leeds Carnegie 44 – 17 in the final and retained the cup they won in the previous season – the first team to win the cup for a second time.[14][15]

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
5 April 2014 – Mennaye Field        
  England Cornish Pirates   14
26 April 2014 – Sardis Road[n 1]
  Wales Pontypridd   16  
  Wales Pontypridd   22
4 April 2014 – Donnybrook
      Ireland Leinster A   22  
  Ireland Leinster A   47
23 May 2014 – Donnybrook
  Ireland Munster A   15  
  Ireland Leinster A   44
4 April 2014 – Memorial Stadium    
    England Leeds Carnegie   17
  England Bristol   39
4 May 2014 – Memorial Stadium
  England Rotherham Titans   24  
  England Bristol   25
4 April 2014 – Headingley Stadium
      England Leeds Carnegie   30  
  England Leeds Carnegie   41
  England Plymouth Albion   21  
  1. ^ Leinster won on number of tries scored.[13]

2014–15 Competition[edit]

The number of teams playing in the sixth competition is reduced from twenty-four to twenty with the withdrawal of the Scottish teams:

The twelve Principality Premiership Teams participating in regional play-offs which saw Aberavon, Carmarthen Quins, Cross Keys and Pontypridd qualify for the competition proper. The Scottish clubs withdrew because of an increase in the number of the pool matches before Christmas, from four to six. Scottish Rugby felt that Scottish teams would not be able to compete fully in both the British and Irish cup and the BT Premiership; the premier competition for clubs in Scotland.[1]

Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
24 January 2015 – Castle Park        
  England Doncaster Knights   38
14 March 2015 – Castle Park
  Ireland Munster A   17  
  England Doncaster Knights   27
23 January 2015 – Ashton Gate
      England Bristol Rugby   22  
  England Bristol Rugby   41
3 April 2015 – Castle Park
  England Yorkshire Carnegie   28  
  England Doncaster Knights   5
24 January 2015 – Sixways Stadium    
    England Worcester Warriors   35
  England Worcester Warriors   24
13 March 2015 – Sixways Stadium
  Wales Pontypridd   10  
  England Worcester Warriors   15
24 January 2015 – Clifton Lane
      Ireland Leinster A   13  
  England Rotherham Titans   32
  Ireland Leinster A   51  

2015–16 Competition[edit]

Remaining with 20 teams.

  • England – twelve clubs from RFU Championship
  • Ireland – four Irish provinces represented by 'A' teams
  • Wales – four Welsh regions represented by Premiership Select teams.

Five pools of 4 teams, with the pool winners and the top three runners up going through to the knockout competition.


England England 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Ireland Ireland 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Bedford Blues Leinster A
Birmingham & Solihull Munster A
Bristol Ulster Ravens
Cornish Pirates Connacht Eagles
Doncaster Knights
Exeter Chiefs
London Welsh
Nottingham Rugby
Plymouth Albion
Rotherham Titans
Worcester Warriors
Yorkshire Carnegie
London Scottish
Newcastle Falcons
Ealing Trailfinders
Scotland Scotland 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Wales Wales 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Ayr Aberavon
Gael Force Cardiff
Heriot's FP Llanelli
Currie Neath
Melrose Newport
Dundee HSFP Pontypridd
Gala Llandovery
Stirling County Swansea
Edinburgh Academicals Cross Keys
Bridgend Ravens
Carmarthen Quins
Cardiff Blues Premiership Select
Newport Gwent Dragons Premiership Select
Ospreys Premiership Select
Scarlets Premiership Select


Current season participants in bold.

Team Stadium Capacity City/Area/Country
Wales Aberavon Talbot Athletic Ground 3,000 Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot, Wales
Scotland Ayr Millbrae Unknown Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland
England Bedford Blues Goldington Road 4,684 Bedford, Bedfordshire, England
Wales Bedwas The Bridge Field Unknown Bedwas, Caerphilly County Borough, Wales
England Birmingham & Solihull Sharmans Cross Road 3,500 Solihull, West Midlands, England
Wales Bridgend Ravens Brewery Field 8,000 Bridgend, Bridgend County Borough, Wales
England Bristol Ashton Gate 13,100 Ashton, Bristol, England
Wales Cardiff Cardiff Arms Park 13,500 Cardiff, Wales
Wales Carmarthen Quins Carmarthen Park Unknown Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Ireland Connacht Eagles Sportsgrounds 9,500 Galway, Ireland
England Cornish Pirates Mennaye Field 4,000 Penzance, Cornwall, England
England Coventry Butts Park Arena 4,000 Coventry, West Midlands, England
Wales Cross Keys Pandy Park Unknown Crosskeys, Caerphilly County Borough, Wales
Scotland Currie Malleny Park Unknown Balerno, Edinburgh, Scotland
England Doncaster Knights Castle Park 3,075 Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
Scotland Dundee HSFP Mayfield Playing Fields Unknown Dundee, Scotland
England Ealing Trailfinders Trailfinders Sports Ground Unknown West Ealing, London, England
Scotland Edinburgh Academicals Raeburn Place 5,000 Stockbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
England Esher Molesey Road Unknown Esher, Surrey, England
England Exeter Chiefs Sandy Park 10,744 Exeter, Devon, England
Scotland Gael Force Bridgehaugh 4,000 Stirling, Scotland
Scotland Gala Netherdale 6,000 Galashiels, Scottish Borders, Scotland
Scotland Heriot's FP Goldenacre Unknown Edinburgh, Scotland
Jersey Jersey St. Peter 5,000 Saint Peter, Jersey
Ireland Leinster A Donnybrook 7,000 Dublin, Ireland
Wales Llandovery Church Bank 5,000 Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Wales Llanelli Parc y Scarlets 14,870 Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales
England London Scottish Richmond Athletic Ground 1,000 seat stand Richmond, London, England
England London Welsh Kassam Stadium[16] 12,500 Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Scotland Melrose The Greenyards Unknown Melrose, Scottish Borders, Scotland
England Moseley Billesley Common 3,650 Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Ireland Munster A Musgrave Park 8,300 Cork, Ireland
Wales Neath The Gnoll 7,500 Neath, Neath Port Talbot, Wales
England Newcastle Falcons Kingston Park 10,200 Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Wales Newport Rodney Parade 10,500 Newport, South Wales, Wales
England Nottingham Meadow Lane 19,588 Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
England Plymouth Albion The Brickfields 6,500 Plymouth, Devon, England
Wales Pontypridd Sardis Road 5,285 Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales
England Rotherham Titans Clifton Lane 2,500 Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England
Scotland Stirling County Bridgehaugh 4,000 Stirling, Scotland
Wales Swansea St Helens 4,500 Brynmill, Swansea, Wales
Ireland Ulster Ravens Kingspan Stadium 18,196 Belfast, Northern Ireland
England Worcester Warriors Sixways Stadium 13,500 Worcester, England
England Yorkshire Carnegie Headingley Stadium 21,062 Headingley, Leeds, England


  1. ^ Jersey is listed in the English section because they play in the English RFU Championship.


  1. ^ a b "Scots pull out of B&I Cup". The RUGBYPaper. Greenways Publishing. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "New British & Irish Cup announced". RTÉ Sport. 6 May 2009. Archived from the original on 9 May 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  4. ^ "Home unions devise British & Irish Cup". The Daily Telegraph. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2009. 
  5. ^ "Welsh clubs discover British and Irish Cup opponents". WalesOnline. 20 June 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "B&I Cup set to arrive in Connacht". 11 May 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "British & Irish Cup undergoes restructure ahead of new season". RFU. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Seeding Criteria For The Quarter-Finals Draw 2014". Cornish Pirates. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Pirates Get Ponty At Home". Cornish Pirates. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Pirates Sure Of Home Quarter Final Tie In Cup". Cornish Pirates. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Winners of Pontypridd v Leinster A to host BIC Final". Pontypridd RFC. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "Pontypridd 22 - 22 Leinster". BBC. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Leinster 'A' 44 v 17 Leeds Carnegie". Leinster Rugby. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  15. ^ Daly, Phil (23 May 2014). "Leinster A 44 Leeds Carnegie 17". Leeds Carnegie. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "London Welsh to stay at Kassam Stadium with Oxford Utd". BBC. 22 June 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 

External links[edit]