CONNACHT WILL HAVE the chance to avenge their pool defeat to Sale Sharks when the sides renew battle lines in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Andy Friend’s side will travel to England on the last weekend of March after progressing through to the knockout stages with a last-gasp victory over Bordeaux in France this afternoon.
Tiernan O’Halloran celebrates his try against Bordeaux. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO
Trailing by nine points, Connacht conjured a memorable comeback thanks to Jack Carty’s late intercept try to advance from Pool 3 as one of the best runners-up.
It means the western province face an away quarter-final against Sale, who won Connacht’s pool.
Clermont qualified as the top seeds and will host Northampton Saints in the last eight, while it will be an all-Premiership affair as Worcester take on Harlequins.
The other quarter-final tie will see La Rochelle go head-to-head with Pat Lam’s Bristol Bears, with the games down for decision on 29/30/31 March.
EPCR will confirm venues, dates and kick-off times in due course.
Challenge Cup quarter-finals:
QF 1: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Northampton SaintsQF 2: Worcester Warriors v HarlequinsQF 3: Sale Sharks v Connacht RugbyQF 4: La Rochelle v Bristol Bears
Challenge Cup qualifiers:
1. ASM Clermont Auvergne (winner Pool 1 – 30 points)
2. La Rochelle (winner Pool 4 – 24 points)
3. Sale Sharks (winner Pool 3 – 22 points)
4. Worcester Warriors (winner Pool 2 – 22 points)
5. Harlequins (winner Pool 5 – 21 points)
6. Connacht Rugby (best pool runner-up – 22 points)
7. Bristol Bears (second best pool runner-up – 21 points)
8. Northampton Saints (third best pool runner-up – 21 points)
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