Glamour Opener for Welsh in Amlin–Full Amlin Fixture List
Tournament newcomers, London Welsh, will begin their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with a high-profile home game against star-studded Stade Francais Paris at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday, 13 October.
The clash of the European debutants and the 2011 defeated finalists is just one of a number of intriguing match-ups featured in the announcement today (Tuesday, 31 July) by tournament organisers, ERC, of the fixtures, dates, kick-off times and live TV coverage for the opening four rounds of the 2012/13 Amlin Challenge Cup.
2006 champions, Gloucester Rugby, will have the honour of getting the European club rugby season underway when they travel to newly-promoted Top 14 club, Mont-de-Marsan, on Thursday, 11 October, while in the same highly-competitive Pool 1, London Irish will also be in France for a demanding tournament kick-off against Bordeaux-Bègles on Saturday, 13 October.
Stade Francais will move to a new Amlin Challenge Cup venue when they take on Grenoble in an all-French Round 2 clash at Stade Océane in Le Havre on Saturday, 20 October.
London Wasps, who triumphed back in 2003, will begin their quest for another coveted European title with an Anglo-Welsh tie against Newport Gwent Dragons at Adams Park on Saturday, 13 October, while the 2008 champions, Bath Rugby, will face an away trip to Bucharest Wolves in Pool 4.
Worcester Warriors, who were defeated by Bath in that 2008 final, will break new ground when they travel to Spain to take on Bizkaia Gernika RT in Pool 2 also on Saturday, 13 October.
Twenty clubs from six countries will compete in the 2012/13 tournament with three clubs – London Welsh, Rugby Mogliano from Italy, and Spain’s Bizkaia Gernika RT – making their first appearances in Europe.