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New format agreed for Champions Cup and Challenge Cup

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THE four Welsh rugby regions have learned their fate after the finals rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup were suspended.

Group stage matches were postponed in January after the French Rugby Union raised concerns about travelling across Europe amidst a rise in coronavirus cases.

The remaining fixtures have not been rearranged and European Rugby has announced a new format.

Both tournaments will resume with Rounds of 16 matches on the weekend of 2/3/4 April and the knockout stages will continue with quarter-finals, semi-finals and the scheduled Marseille finals on EPCR’s allocated weekends in April and May.

As approved by the EPCR Board, the Rounds of 16 and quarter-final matches in both tournaments will now be decided by draws which will take place on Tuesday, March 9.

For the Challenge Cup, the eight highest-ranked clubs from the preliminary stage at the time of the suspension of the tournament and the eight clubs which have not qualified for the knockout stage of Heineken Champions Cup will compete in the Round of 16.

Scarlet will take their place in the last 16 of the Champions Cup alongside the likes of Racing 92, Munster, Lyon and La Rochelle.

Dragons, Ospreys and Cardiff Blues will all compete in the Challenge Cup and could come up against the likes of Leicester Tigers, Newcastle Falcons and Northampton Saints.

For the purposes of the draw, clubs from the same league cannot be drawn against one another, however, Challenge Cup clubs and Heineken Champions Cup clubs can be drawn against one another.

It has also been agreed that open draws will take place to determine the quarter-finals in both the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, allowing for the possibility of matches between clubs in the same league. The draws for the quarter-finals will take place immediately after the rounds of 16 draws on Tuesday, March 9.

Heineken Champions Cup knockout stage qualifiers: Racing 92, Leinster, Wasps, Bordeaux-Begles, Munster, Lyon, Toulouse, La Rochelle, Scarlets, Clermont Auvergne, Bristol Bears, Exeter Chiefs, Edinburgh, Gloucester, RC Toulon, Sale Sharks.

Challenge Cup last 16: London Irish, Ospreys, Leicester Tigers, Cardiff Blues, Zebre Rugby Club, Agen, Benetton Rugby, Newcastle Falcons, Ulster Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Northampton Saints, Bath Rugby, Montpellier, Dragons, Harlequins, Glasgow Warriors

Sport

Blues battle to win over Aberaeron in KO Cup

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HAVERFORDWEST booked their place in the quarter finals of the Pembrokeshire KO Cup, where they will meet Pembroke Dock Harlequins, after beating Aberaeron on Wednesday night (Oct 20).

Despite the atrocious weather conditions, which saw rain batter the Pembroke Road playing surface for much of the game, both sides played an excellent game.

In the end it was the Blues who came out on top with a 44-6 win.

Outside Half Jake Morgan got the Blues rolling early on with a penalty and Rhys Baker then scored the game’s first try to make it 8-0.

Second Row Jack Clancy got his name on the score sheet but the conversion was missed.

Aberaeron then got themselves on the board with a penalty but the Blues were soon back on the attack with Will Blackburn next to go over.

That was converted by Morgan to give the home side a 20-3 lead.

Lewis Tingay and Rhys Baker added further tries for the Blues while Aber added a further penalty as the sides went in at half time with the score reading 30-6.

Early in the second half Tingay added his second try of the night and Morgan added the conversion.

That all but ended any hopes the away side had of getting themselves back in the game and the Blues continued to play despite the pouring rain.

Tingay then completed his hat trick with a try under the posts giving Morgan a simple conversion to make it 44-6.

There was no scoring in the final twenty minutes but the Blues had done the job and booked their place in the last eight.

Their quarter final with the Quins will be played on or before January 22.

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Pembrokeshire Schools Under 10s get season up and running

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PEMBROKESHIRE Schools Under 10s played their first game of the new season last Sunday (Oct 17) against a strong OT Academy Squad.

The Pembrokeshire boys played four small sided games, drawing one and losing three. The boys are next in action next month when they hope to play Carmarthenshire Schools.

Pembrokeshire Schools Under 10s: Spencer James (Cleddau Reach), Noah Bicknell (Prendergast), Harri Jones (Holy Name), Jamie Cook (Pembroke Dock), Toby Jones (Holy Name), Isaac Jenkins (Narberth), Iori Williams (Narberth), Cai Price (Ysgol Caer Elen), Celt Edwards (Frenni), Joe Davies (Ysgol Glannau Gwaun), Jaden Petrie (Prendergast), Logan Lewis (Pembroke Dock), Zach Loveridge (Waldo Williams), James Burns (Lamphey).

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Sport

Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League results

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The results for the Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League for Saturday, October 16 were as follows:

• Under 12’s:

Chaos Thunder 11-1 Pembroke 2

Players player:

Chaos: Leah Davies

Pembroke: Holly Jones

Sapphires Whites 0-19 Pembroke 1

Players player:

Sapphires: Orla Maulio Martina

Pembroke: Skye Sutton

• Under 14’s:

Chaos Hurricanes 4-20 Sapphires Black

Players player:

Chaos: Bo Davies

Sapphires: Anya Beynon

• Under 16’s:

Chaos Blue 40-7 Pembroke

Players player:

Chaos: Lucy John

Pembroke: Megan Bowen

Sapphires Black 45-12 St David’s

Players player:

Sapphires: Ella Wainwright

St David’s: Skye Bramley

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