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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 17:27 UK

Anglo-Welsh Cup fixtures revealed

Cardiff Blues celebrate their EDF Energy Cup final win
Cardiff Blues celebrate their EDF Energy Cup final triumph

Gloucester bid to avenge their Anglo-Welsh Cup final defeat to Cardiff Blues when the teams clash in the opening round of this season's tournament.

The Welsh club will travel to Kingsholm on the weekend of 7 November as they start their defence of the title.

The new watered-down competition will be played on weekends during November and the Six Nations so sides will be without their international stars.

The Cup will have four pools each made up of three English and one Welsh team.

Regional Rugby Wales, the umbrella group of Wales' four regions, and Premier Rugby, the umbrella group for the 16 English sides, reached agreement over a two-year deal.

Should the winner of the competition be an English club, they will qualify for the following season's Heineken Cup.


The cross-pool competition will mean teams in Pool One will play teams in Pool Four and teams in Pool Two play teams in Pool Three.

Each team is guaranteed four pool matches - two home and two away - with the top teams from each pool qualifying for the semi-finals.

The teams have been seeded depending on their finish in last season's Guinness Premiership and Magners League and tournaments chiefs have tried to avoid fixture duplication with both leagues and the Heineken Cup.

The last two competitions, known as the EDF Energy Cup, were won by Welsh regions as Cardiff Blues' 50-12 win over Gloucester in April came the season after the Ospreys overcame Leicester at Twickenham.

"We are delighted to have reached agreement with PRL over the continuation of the Anglo-Welsh Cup," said RRW chief executive Stuart Gallacher.

"Cross border fixtures between the professional rugby tiers of England and Wales have become a real highlight of the season and something that both the teams participating and supporters value enormously.

"That last years winners, the Cardiff Blues, will also play Gloucester in the opening round, will give added prominence to the commencement of the competition.

"The Cup will continue to remain a stand-out tournament in an increasingly congested season, but one that provides a unique spectacle both in terms of the quality of rugby and sense of occasion."

Pool 1: Leicester Tigers, Sale Sharks, Saracens, Ospreys
Pool 2: London Irish, Gloucester, Newcastle Falcons, Scarlets
Pool 3: Harlequins, London Wasps, Worcester Warriors, Cardiff Blues
Pool 4: Bath, Northampton Saints, Leeds, Dragons

Round 1 (weekend of November 7, 2009)

Leeds v Leicester Tigers
Newport Gwent Dragons v Sale Sharks
Saracens v Bath
Ospreys v Northampton Saints
Gloucester v Cardiff Blues
London Irish v London Wasps
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons
Harlequins v Scarlets

Round 2 (weekend of November 14, 2009)

Leicester Tigers v Newport Gwent Dragons
Sale Sharks v Leeds
Bath v Ospreys
Northampton Saints v Saracens
Cardiff Blues v London Irish
London Wasps v Gloucester
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins
Scarlets v Worcester Warriors

Round 3 (weekend of January 30, 2010)

Leicester Tigers v Bath
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints
Newport Gwent Dragons v Ospreys
Leeds v Saracens
London Wasps v Scarlets
Cardiff Blues v Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester v Worcester Warriors
London Irish v Harlequins

Round 4 (weekend of February 6, 2010)

Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers
Bath v Sale Sharks
Ospreys v Leeds
Saracens v Newport Gwent Dragons
Scarlets v Cardiff Blues
Newcastle Falcons v London Wasps
Worcester Warriors v London Irish
Harlequins v Gloucester

Semi finals (weekend of March 13, 2010, venue TBC)

Final (weekend of March 20, 2010, venue TBC)

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see also
Anglo-Welsh Cup set to carry on
06 May 09 |  Welsh
Cardiff Blues 50-12 Gloucester
18 Apr 09 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
European Challenge Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
WRU Challenge Cup archive
12 Jul 06 |  Welsh
Welsh Premiership
11 Apr 07 |  Welsh
Swalec Leagues
11 Apr 07 |  Welsh
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment

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