1996 European Challenge Cup
1996/1997 European Conference

The 1996 European Challenge Cup was the inaugural year of the competition and was the 2nd tier of European club rugby, after the Heineken Cup.

There were 24 teams in the competition and they came from 7 different countries. In general, the teams were from the top division of rugby in each country and that had not qualified for the Heineken Cup.

There were 4 pools of 6 teams, and within each pool teams played each other once. The top two teams from each pool advanced to quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final.

Teams playing in the 1996/1997 European Challenge Cup were:

Wales

  • Newport
  • Ebbw Vale
  • Bridgend RFC
  • Dunvant
  • Newbridge
  • Newport
  • Swansea
  • Treorchy

France

  • Narbonne
  • Agen
  • Castres Olympique
  • Toulon
  • Montferrand
  • Bordeaux-Bègles 
  • Bourgoin

England

  • Bristol
  • Sale Sharks
  • London Irish
  • Northampton Saints
  • Orrel
  • Gloucester

Scotland

  • Glasgow Rugby

Romania

  • Dinamo-Bucureşti

Italy

  • Petrarca Rugby

Ireland

  • Connacht

     

Challenge Cup
Pool 1
Team Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Points
Agen 5 5 0 156 82 10
Montferrand 5 4 1 211 74 8
Sale Sharks 5 3 2 166 115 6
Newport 5 2 3 98 158 4
Glasgow Rugby 5 1 4 113 202 2
Newbridge 5 0 5 106 219 0
Pool 2
Team Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Points
Castres Olympique 5 5 0 207 71 10
Narbonne 5 4 1 161 90 8
Dinamo-Bucureşti 5 2 2 1 109 213 5
Bridgend 4 1 2 1 94 120 3
Bristol 5 1 4 128 99 2
Treorchy 4 0 4 72 178 0
Pool 3
Team Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Points
Northampton Saints 5 5 0 207 88 10
Toulon 5 4 1 164 102 8
Orrell 5 2 3 122 173 4
Connacht 5 2 3 94 131 4
Dunvant 5 1 4 106 169 2
Petrarca Rugby 5 1 4 118 148 2
Pool 4
Team Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Points
Bourgoin 5 5 0 196 66 10
Bordeaux-Bègles  5 3 1 1 195 99 7
Swansea 5 3 1 1 207 138 7
Gloucester 5 2 3 119 123 4
Ebbw Vale 5 1 4 48 243 2
London Irish 5 0 5 90 186 0

The Treorchy v Bridgend match was not played.

 


1996 European Challenge Cup Fixtures


October 12

         

           

        

         

          

           

            

         

          

          

           

       

October 16

     

      

         

        

      

     

    

        

          

            

         

        

October 19

      

         

           

     

          

           

          

            

         

           

          

     

October 26

      

       

      

        

          

      

      

     

      

       

         

          

October 30

      

      

November 2

Agen

Newbridge

Sale Sharks

Bridgend

Bristol

Narbonne

Connacht

Orrell

Toulon

Bourgoin

Gloucester

Swansea

      

Agen

Glasgow Rugby

Newport

Bridgend

Castres Olympique

Treorchy

Dunvant

Northampton Saints

Toulon

Ebbw Vale

Gloucester

London Irish

     

Montferrand

Newbridge

Sale Sharks

Bridgend

Bristol

Castres Olympique

Connacht

Orrell

Petrarca Rugby

Bordeaux-Bègles

Bourgoin

Swansea

        

Agen

Newbridge

Newport

Bristol

Dinamo-Bucureşti

Narbonne

Northampton Saints

Orrell

Toulon

Ebbw Vale

Swansea

Gloucester

           

Glasgow Rugby

Montferrand

Sale Sharks

Dinamo-Bucureşti

Narbonne

Treorchy

Connacht

Dunvant

Petrarca Rugby

Bordeaux-Bègles

Bourgoin

London Irish

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v


v

v

 

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

 

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

 

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

  

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v


Newport

Glasgow Rugby

Montferrand

Castres Olympique

Treorchy

Dinamo-Bucureşti

Petrarca Rugby

Dunvant

Northampton Saints

Bordeaux-Bègles

Ebbw Vale

London Irish

      

Montferrand

Sale Sharks

Newbridge

Bristol

Dinamo-Bucureşti

Narbonne

Connacht

Orrell

Petrarca Rugby

Swansea

Bordeaux-Bègles

Bourgoin

     

Glasgow Rugby

Agen

Newport

Dinamo-Bucureşti

Narbonne

Treorchy

Northampton Saints

Toulon

Dunvant

London Irish

Ebbw Vale

Gloucester

    

Sale Sharks

Montferrand

Glasgow Rugby

Castres Olympique

Treorchy

Bridgend

Dunvant

Petrarca Rugby

Connacht

London Irish

Bordeaux-Bègles

Bourgoin

       

Agen

Newport

Newbridge

Bristol

Castres Olymmpique

Bridgend

Orrell

Toulon

Northampton Saints

Ebbw Vale

Swansea

Gloucester

Agen

Newbridge

Sale

Bridgend

Bristol

Narbonne

Galway

Orrell

Toulon

Bourgoin-Jallieu

Gloucester

Swansea

   

Agen

Glasgow

Newport

Bridgend

Castres

Treorchy

Dunvant

Northampton

Toulon

Ebbw Vale

Gloucester

Sunbury-on-Thames

       

Clermont-Ferrand

Newbridge

Sale

Bridgend

Bristol

Castres

Galway

Orrell

Padua

Bègles

Bourgoin

Swansea

     

Agen

Newbridge

Newport

Bristol

Bucharest

Narbonne

Northampton

Orrell

Toulon

Ebbw Vale

Swansea

Gloucester


Glasgow

Clermont-Ferrand

Sale

Bucharest

Narbonne

Treorchy

Galway

Dunvant

Padua

Bègles

Bourgoin

Sunbury-on-Thames

32

38

12

23

53

73

34

32

29

45

59

63

  

27

9

24

30

67

19

26

61

32

3

10

13

  

76

13

52

24

16

61

11

23

49

32

39

62

    

33

12

25

14

38

33

48

42

44

28

31

9

  

23

55

57

19

11

C

30

8

9

93

54

13

13

62

17

36

5

22

12

29

38

22

7

38

  

17

29

9

27

6

26

9

7

23

32

17

34

  

9

30

22

24

18

17

31

28

11

6

3

12

   

16

46

10

27

31

17

32

25

10

20

31

24

  

34

14

34

18

16

C

18

31

29

7

19

29

Quarter-Finals

November 16

Bourgoin

Castres Olympique

Northampton Saints

Agen

v

v

v

v

Montferrand

Toulon

Narbonne

Bordeaux-Bègles 

Bourgoin-Jallieu

Castres

Northampton

Agen

17

23

22

20

15

15

23

15

Semi-Finals

January 5

Bourgoin

Castres Olympique

v

v


Narbonne

Agen

Bourgoin-Jallieu

Castres

29

23

6

6

Final

January 26

Bourgoin

v


Castres Olympique

Béziers

18

9