Warriors to face Harlequins in European quarter-finals

Warriors will face an all-Gallagher Premiership tie against Harlequins at Sixways in the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals on the final weekend of March.

Warriors secured fourth seeding and guaranteed a home tie with their breathless 36-31 victory over Stade Francais at Sixways on Saturday.

Wins for Sale Sharks and Connacht later in the day settled the placings in Pool Three and decided Warriors’ opponents for their first European Challenge Cup quarter-final since 2009.

Harlequins, who enjoyed a bonus point win at Agen on Friday night, won Pool Five but missed out on a home quarter-final against Warriors after Dean Hammond crossed for the winning try at Sixways.

The dates and kick-off times for the quarter-finals are expected to be confirmed by the competition organisers by the end of next week.

Warriors’ win over Stade completed a double over the Paris-based club, their first against French opposition since 2008 and only their fourth in all.

European Challenge Cup seedings

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)

The quarter-final matches to be played on 29/30/31 March are as follows:

QF 1: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints
QF 2: Worcester Warriors v Harlequins
QF 3: Sale Sharks v Connacht Rugby
QF 4: La Rochelle v Bristol Bears

The draw has also been made for the European Challenge Cup semi-finals and here are the permutations:

Following confirmation of the Challenge Cup quarter-final line-up, the semi-final pairings will be as follows:

SEMI-FINAL 1 – winner of QF 1: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints will play the winner of QF 2: Worcester Warriors v Harlequins

SEMI-FINAL 2 – winner of QF 3: Sale Sharks v Connacht Rugby will play the winner of QF 4: La Rochelle v Bristol Bears

The following clubs will have home venue advantage in their respective semi-final matches:

SEMI-FINAL 1
If ASM Clermont Auvergne (ranked No 1) and Worcester Warriors (ranked No 4) win their quarter-finals, Clermont will have home venue advantage
If ASM Clermont Auvergne (ranked No 1) and Harlequins (ranked No 5) win their quarter-finals, Clermont will have home venue advantage
If Worcester Warriors (ranked No 4) and Northampton Saints (ranked No 8) win their quarter-finals, Worcester will have home venue advantage
If Harlequins (ranked No 5) and Northampton Saints (ranked No 8) win their quarter-finals, Harlequins will have home venue advantage

SEMI-FINAL 2
If La Rochelle (ranked No 2) and Sale Sharks (ranked No 3) win their quarter-finals, La Rochelle will have home venue advantage
If Sale Sharks (ranked No 3) and Bristol Bears (ranked No 7) win their quarter-finals, Sale will have home venue advantage
If La Rochelle (ranked No 2) and Connacht Rugby (ranked No 6) win their quarter-finals, La Rochelle will have home venue advantage
If Connacht Rugby (ranked No 6) and Bristol Bears (ranked No 7) win their quarter-finals, Connacht will have home venue advantage

Semi-finals: 19/20/21 April
2019 Challenge Cup final: Friday, 10 May; St James’ Park, Newcastle (19.45)