European Rugby Continental Shield

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European Rugby Continental Shield
European Rugby Continental Shield Logo.jpg
Sport Rugby union
Inaugural season 2014-15 (as Qualifying Competition)
2016-17 (as Continental Shield)
Organisers EPCR
Rugby Europe
FIR
Number of teams 10 (8 (pools) + 2 (play-off))
Country  Italy
 Georgia
 Romania
 Russia
 Spain
 Portugal
 Germany
 Belgium
Holders Russia Enisey-STM (2nd title) (2017-18)
Website European Rugby Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition Website
Rugby Europe Website
Related competitions European Rugby Champions Cup
European Rugby Challenge Cup

The European Rugby Continental Shield (formerly the European Rugby Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition) is a rugby union competition, organised by European Professional Club Rugby, Rugby Europe and the Federazione Italiana Rugby, for entry into the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

The Qualifying Competition was first announced in April 2014, at the same time as the announcement of the creation of the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions. The tournament features teams from tier 2 countries, such as Spain, Germany, Belgium, Romania, Georgia, Russia and Portugal, as well as select Italian Eccellenza clubs. In 2016-17, the qualification competition also became a European Rugby competition in its own right, the third tier European Rugby Continental Shield, with both successful play-off teams meeting in a final as a part of European Rugby Finals weekend.

Both editions of the Shield, 2016–17, and 2017–18, have been won by Russian club Yenisey-STM Krasnoyarsk.

The competition is the first third-tier European tournament since the suspension of the Parker Pen Shield in 2005[1]

Format[edit]

Under the Heads of Agreement announced on 10 April 2014, there are two places available in the European Rugby Challenge Cup through the Qualifying Competition.[2]

For the 2014–15 season, given the time constraints in filling the competition, this was a reduced competition the form of 2 two-legged play-off matches, with the aggregate winners of each taking one of the two Rugby Europe spots in the draw, and it involved the 2 best teams from Italy's National Championship of Excellence, plus a Romanian and Georgian selection.[3]

An expanded format was announced on 22 December 2014,[4] the expanded format includes clubs from Rugby Europe member Unions, Russia, Spain and Portugal alongside representatives from the Italian Eccellenza.

The 6 teams in the Qualifying Competition are split into 2 pools of 3 teams each. Each team will play the other teams in their pool once, before the two pool winners compete in a two-legged play-off against the teams currently competing in the Challenge Cup from the previous Qualifying Competition.

The winners, on aggregate, of these two play-offs will take up the Qualifying Competition places in the Challenge Cup.[4]

In 2017, the competition was rebranded as the European Rugby Continental Shield, and it was announced that the two qualifiers would play each other as part of the EPCR's finals weekend.[5]

Summary of results[edit]

Continental Shield Finals[edit]

Season Country Winners Score Runners-up Country Venue
2016–17  Russia Enisey-STM 36–8 Krasny Yar  Russia BT Murrayfield Complex, Edinburgh
2017–18  Russia Enisey-STM 24–20 Heidelberger RK  Germany Campos Deportivos de Fadura, Getxo, Biscay

Qualifying play-off results[edit]

Season Play-off 1 Play-off 2 Qualify for
Winners Score Runners-up Winners Score Runners-up
2013–14 Italy Rovigo Delta 46–39 Georgia (country) Tbilisi Caucasians Romania București Wolves 28–26 Italy Calvisano 2014–15 European Rugby Challenge Cup
Season Play-off 1 Play-off 2 Qualify for
Challenge Cup Side Score Continental Shield Side Challenge Cup Side Score Continental Shield Side
2014–15 Romania CSM Baia Mare 32–63 Russia Enisey-STM Italy Rovigo Delta 24–52 Italy Calvisano 2015–16 European Rugby Challenge Cup
2015–16 Russia Enisey-STM 70–5 Italy Rovigo Italy Calvisano 40–64 Romania Timișoara Saracens 2016–17 European Rugby Challenge Cup
2016–17 Russia Enisey-STM 97–7 Italy Mogliano Romania Timișoara Saracens 35–39 Russia Krasny Yar 2017–18 European Rugby Challenge Cup
Season Play-off from Challenge Cup Play-off from Continental Shield Qualify for
Challenge Side 1 Score Challenge Side 2 C. Shield Side 1 Score C. Shield Side 2
2017–18 Russia Enisey-STM 74–48 Russia Krasny Yar Germany Heidelberger RK 47–41 Romania Timișoara Saracens 2018–19 European Rugby Challenge Cup
Key      Winners qualified to the European Rugby Challenge Cup      Winners continue in the European Rugby Challenge Cup      Winners advance to the European Rugby Challenge Cup

Tournaments[edit]

2014[edit]

The reduced format for the inaugural Qualifying Competition included two Italian Clubs, a Romanian and a Georgian side. Sides were paired up and competed in two matches, home and away. The winners, on aggregate, of these two games received one of the two places in the 2014–15 European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Pool 1 Pool 2
Italy Rovigo Delta Romania București Wolves
Georgia (country) Tbilisi Caucasians Italy Calvisano

Rugby Europe 1 Play-off[edit]

20 September 2014
16:00 CEST
Rovigo Delta Italy 22–18 Georgia (country) Tbilisi Caucasians
Stadio Mario Battaglini
Referee: Lloyd Lynton (SRU)
27 September 2014
17:00 GET
Tbilisi Caucasians Georgia (country) 21–24 Italy Rovigo Delta
Vake Stadium, aka Meskhi
Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU)

Rugby Europe 2 Play-off[edit]

20 September 2014
21:00 EEST
București Wolves Romania 18–13 Italy Calvisano
Stadium Arcul de Triumf
Referee: Gary Conway (IRFU)
27 September 2014
19:30 CEST
Calvisano Italy 13–10 Romania București Wolves
Peroni Stadium
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (FFR)

2015[edit]

The expanded competition for entry into the 2015–16 European Rugby Challenge Cup features six teams, in two pools of three. Russia is represented in European competition for the first time.[6] Matches are scheduled for the same weekends as the 2014–15 Challenge Cup, beginning with the 5th Round of the Challenge Cup.

Pool 1 Pool 2
Italy Calvisano Russia Enisey-STM
Italy Viadana Portugal Centro Desportivo Universitário de Lisboa
Spain El Salvador Italy Mogliano

Pool 1[edit]

Advances to Qualifying Play-offs
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Italy Calvisano 2 2 0 0 96 15 +81 13 2 2 0 10
Italy Viadana 2 1 0 1 39 41 –2 6 5 1 0 5
Spain El Salvador 2 0 0 2 19 98 –79 3 15 0 0 0

Qualifying Play-off

18 April 2015
Rovigo Delta Italy 17 – 17 Italy Calvisano


2 May 2015
Calvisano Italy 35 – 7 Italy Rovigo Delta

Pool 2[edit]

Advances to Qualifying Play-offs
P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
Russia Enisey-STM 2 2 0 0 47 15 +32 5 2 1 0 9
Italy Mogliano 2 1 0 1 60 19 +41 6 4 1 1 6
Portugal Centro Desportivo Universitário de Lisboa 2 0 0 2 17 73 –56 3 10 0 0 0

Qualifying Play-off

18 April 2015
CSM Baia Mare Romania 20 – 30 Russia Enisey-STM


2 May 2015
Enisey-STM Russia 33 – 12 Romania CSM Baia Mare

2015–16[edit]

The Qualifying Competition was once again expanded, this time featuring 8 teams in two pools of four. Each team will play the teams in the other pool once. Belgium and Germany are represented in pan-European Rugby competition for the first time, through Royal Kituro and Heidelberger RK respectively

Advances to Qualifying Play-offs
Pool A P W D L PF PA Diff TB LB Pts
Italy Rovigo 4 3 0 1 136 77 59 3 0 15
Germany Heidelberger RK 4 3 0 1 109 71 38 2 1 15
Italy Fiamme Oro 4 3 0 1 74 51 23 0 0 12
Spain Valladolid RAC 4 2 0 2 114 68 46 1 0 9
Pool B P W D L PF PA Diff TB LB Pts
Romania Timișoara Saracens 4 4 0 0 126 48 78 3 0 19
Portugal GD Direito 4 1 0 3 72 82 –10 0 2 6
Italy Mogliano 4 0 0 4 49 105 –56 1 1 2
Belgium Royal Kituro 4 0 0 4 20 198 –178 0 0 0

Fixtures[edit]

Qualifying Play-offs[edit]

9 April 2016
Rovigo Italy 0 – 31 Russia Enisey-STM
Stadio Mario Battaglini
9 April 2016
Timișoara Saracens Romania 36 – 23 Italy Calvisano
Dan Paltinisanu Stadium

23 April 2016
Enisey-STM Russia 39 – 5 Italy Rovigo
TRUD Stadium, Krasnodar
23 April 2016
Calvisano Italy 17 – 28 Romania Timișoara Saracens
Peroni Stadium

2016–17[edit]

The format of the Qualifying Competition remains similar to the previous season. As before, two places in the next year's Challenge Cup will be available for teams in the Qualifying Competition.

This season's competition features clubs which have qualified from the domestic leagues of Rugby Europe member unions, Russia, Spain, Germany and Belgium, as well as four representatives from the Italian Eccellenza.

The eight participating clubs will compete in two pools with each club in Pool A playing once against each club in Pool B.

The two pool winners will then play off against Timisoara Saracens of Romania and Russia's Enisei-STM on a home and away basis to decide which two clubs will qualify for the 2017–18 Challenge Cup.

Mid-season it was announced the competition would become the European Rugby Continental Shield and the two qualifiers will play a final match as part of EPCR's 2017 Edinburgh Finals weekend.[5]

Advances to Qualifying Play-offs
Pool A P W D L PF PA Diff TB LB Pts
Russia Krasny Yar 4 4 0 0 172 61 111 4 0 20
Italy Petrarca 4 4 0 0 149 45 104 3 0 19
Italy Calvisano 4 3 0 1 134 92 42 3 0 15
Belgium Dendermondse RC 4 0 0 4 50 167 –117 0 0 0
Pool B P W D L PF PA Diff TB LB Pts
Italy Mogliano 4 2 0 2 129 126 7 4 0 12
Spain El Salvador 4 1 0 3 84 105 –21 1 1 6
Italy Rovigo 4 1 0 3 72 95 –23 1 1 6
Germany Heidelberger RK 4 1 0 3 80 181 –101 1 0 5

Fixtures[edit]

Qualifying Play-offs[edit]

EPCR will determine about one open question: If it was like the past years, according to the rating, Krasny Yar Krasnoyarsk would meet with the Romanian Timisoara. But Krasny Yar received a letter that EPCR will hold a meeting on the final round of qualifying Challenge Cup, which will be determined the opponents.[9] In February 14, at the office of RK "Yenisei-STM" received a letter signed by the coordinator of the qualifying competitions EPKR Vincent Prebande. Mr. Prebande reports that, like last year, the second stage of Qualifying teams will play in accordance with the principle of sport. The two-legged confrontation "Yenisei-STM" will meet the Italian club "Mogliano" and "Krasny Yar" - with the Romanian club "Timișoara Saracens".[10]

1 April 2017
Krasny Yar Russia 12 – 17 Romania Timișoara Saracens
Rustavi Arena, Georgia

22 April 2017
Enisey-STM Russia 51 – 7 Italy Mogliano
Slava Stadium, Moscow

Continental Shield Final[edit]

2017–18[edit]

The format of the Qualifying Competition remains similar to the previous season. As before, two places in the next year's Challenge Cup will be available for teams in the Continental Shield. Clubs from six countries will compete in the 2017–18 Continental Shield.

Four representatives from the Italian Eccellenza - Pataro Rugby Calvisano, Femi-CZ Rugby Rovigo, Rugby Petrarca and Rugby Viadana - will be joined by Romania's Timisoara Saracens, RC Batumi from Georgia, Heidelberger RK of Germany and Portugal's Centro Desportivo Universitario de Lisboa (CDUL Rugby) competing in two pools of four.

Following the pool stage matches, the winners of Pool A will play the runners-up in Pool B, and the winners of Pool B will play the runners-up in Pool A on a home and away basis.

The two clubs which advance will then play each other home and away with the winners securing a place in the Continental Shield final in Bilbao next May and also qualifying for the 2018–19 Challenge Cup.

The other Continental Shield finalist will be decided by a home and away play-off between Russia's Enisei-STM and Krasny Yar who have both received a bye into the knockout stage of the competition due to their participation in this season's Challenge Cup and to their success in last season's Continental Shield.

The winners of the Enisei-STM v Krasny Yar play-offs will go through to the Continental Shield final in Bilbao and will also qualify for the 2018–19 Challenge Cup.

The aim of the Continental Shield is to widen the footprint of club rugby across Europe and to give both emerging and established clubs in different territories the opportunity to qualify for the Challenge Cup.

Advances to Pool Play-offs
Pool A P W D L PF PA Diff TB LB Pts
Romania Timișoara Saracens 4 3 0 1 106 68 +38 1 1 14
Germany Heidelberger RK 4 3 0 1 96 74 +22 1 0 13
Italy Rovigo 4 2 0 2 89 86 +3 2 1 11
Italy Viadana 4 1 0 3 66 128 –62 1 1 6
Pool B P W D L PF PA Diff TB LB Pts
Italy Calvisano 4 2 0 2 107 52 +55 2 2 12
Georgia (country) Batumi 4 2 0 2 107 95 +12 2 2 12
Italy Petrarca 4 2 0 2 99 68 +31 1 2 11
Portugal CDUL 4 1 0 3 43 142 –99 0 0 4

Fixtures[edit]

Pool Play-offs[edit]

13 January 2018
15:00
Batumi Georgia (country) 6 – 11 Romania Timișoara Saracens
13 January 2018
15:00
Heidelberger RK Germany 34 – 29 Italy Calvisano

20 January 2018
14:00
Timișoara SaracensRomania 21 – 12 Georgia (country) Batumi

Qualifying Play-offs[edit]

31 March 2018
15:00
Enisey-STM Russia 47 – 22 Russia Krasny Yar

21 April 2018
15:00
Krasny Yar Russia 26 – 27 Russia Enisey-STM

Despite Heidelberger RK defeating Timișoara Saracens with the aggregate score of 47-41 and going into the Challenge Cup for the first time, Heidelberger RK have been disqualified from the Challenge Cup so Timișoara Saracens will replace them.

Continental Shield Final[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ European Shield at Rugbyarchive.net
  2. ^ http://www.epcrugby.com/news/28828.php New Tournament Formats Agreed, EPCRugby.com, 10 April 2014
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-26. 
  4. ^ a b Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition Expanded
  5. ^ a b "New identity for the Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition". epcrugby.com. 
  6. ^ http://www.epcrugby.com/news/29908.php#.VJgUPv8cA
  7. ^ "Match Appointments for November 2015". Welsh Rugby Union. Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "COUPE D'EUROPE: KITURO v ROVIGO MATCH ANNULE" (in French). En raison du passage au niveau d'alerte 4 et en accord avec EPCR, FBRB et les autorités communales le match de ce samedi est annulé. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  9. ^ "Игорь Николайчук: "EPCR на заседании определит нашего соперника"" (in Russian). EPCR will determined the opponents. Retrieved 21 December 2016. 
  10. ^ "СПОРТИВНЫЙ ПРИНЦИП ВОСТОРЖЕСТВОВАЛ" (in Russian). Sports principle prevail. Retrieved 14 February 2017.