British and Irish Cup

Last updated

British and Irish Cup
British & Irish Cup.svg
Sport Rugby union
Instituted2009;11 years ago (2009)
Inaugural season 2009–10
Ceased2018;2 years ago (2018)
Number of teams20–32
NationsFlag of England.svg  England
IRFU flag.svg Ireland
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Holders Flag of England.svg Ealing Trailfinders (2017-18)
Most titles IRFU flag.svg Leinster A
IRFU flag.svg Munster A (2 titles)
Related competition RFU Championship
Pro14

The British and Irish Cup was an annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs and the reserves or developing teams from professional clubs from Great Britain and Ireland. It took place for the first time in the 2009–10 season, and ran for 9 seasons.

Contents

After clubs from the English Championship decided to withdraw from the 2018-19 season, the competition was abolished. The Welsh and Irish rugby unions thereafter reinstituted the Celtic Cup competition for its development sides. [1]

Leinster A and Munster A were the most successful sides in the competition, winning the trophy twice each. Five English clubs shared the remaining competition wins.

Format

A total of twenty-four teams from England (twelve), Ireland (three), Scotland (three) and Wales (six) competed in the inaugural competition. This remained the case for the first three seasons, though the format varied slightly in each season. For the 2012–13 season, the competition was expanded to 32 teams; England (twelve), Ireland (four), Scotland (four), and Wales (twelve) and for the first time, pool stage games were played on a "home and away" basis. For the 2013–14 season the number of teams competing was reduced to 24, with the Welsh entrants reduced from twelve to four, and the following season the competition was reduced to twenty teams with the withdrawal of the Scottish clubs. [2]


From the 2015–16 season to its end in 2018, Wales was represented by regional Premiership Select sides from the four Welsh regions. [3]

Finals

YearWinnerScoreRunner-upVenueAttendance
2009–10 Cornish Pirates Flag of England.svg 23 – 14 IRFU flag.svg Munster A Recreation Ground, Camborne 4,240
2010–11 Bristol Flag of England.svg 17 – 14 Flag of England.svg Bedford Blues Memorial Ground, Bristol 4,375
2011–12 Munster A IRFU flag.svg 31 – 12 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cross Keys Musgrave Park, Cork 3,000
2012–13 Leinster A IRFU flag.svg 18 – 17 Flag of England.svg Newcastle Falcons Kingston Park, Newcastle 3,838
2013–14 Leinster A IRFU flag.svg 44 – 17 Flag of England.svg Leeds Carnegie Donnybrook, Dublin 2,024
2014–15 Worcester Warriors Flag of England.svg 35 – 5 Flag of England.svg Doncaster Knights Castle Park, Doncaster 3,115
2015–16 London Welsh Flag of England.svg 33 – 10 Flag of England.svg Yorkshire Carnegie Headingley Stadium, Leeds 3,107
2016–17 Munster A IRFU flag.svg 29 – 28 Flag of Jersey.svg Jersey Reds Irish Independent Park, Cork 983
2017–18 Ealing Trailfinders Flag of England.svg 22 – 7 IRFU flag.svg Leinster A Trailfinders Sports Ground, London 1,386

Teams

CountryTeam2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-142014-152015-162016-172017-18
Flag of England.svg Bedford Blues Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Birmingham & Solihull Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Bristol Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Coventry Green check.svg
Flag of England.svg Doncaster Knights Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Ealing Trailfinders Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Esher Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Exeter Chiefs Green check.svg
Flag of Jersey.svg Jersey Reds [lower-alpha 1] Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Yorkshire Carnegie Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg London Irish Green check.svg
Flag of England.svg London Scottish Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg London Welsh Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Moseley Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Newcastle Falcons Green check.svg
Flag of England.svg Nottingham Rugby Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Plymouth Albion Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Richmond Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Rotherham Titans Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of England.svg Worcester Warriors Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Aberavon Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cardiff Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Llanelli Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Neath Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Newport Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Llandovery Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Swansea Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cross Keys Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Bedwas Green check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Bridgend Ravens Green check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Carmarthen Quins Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cardiff Blues Premiership Select Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Dragons Premiership Select Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Ospreys Premiership Select Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Scarlets Premiership Select Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Ayr Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Gael Force Green check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Heriot's FP Green check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Currie Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Melrose Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Dundee HSFP Green check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Gala Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Stirling County Green check.svgGreen check.svg
Flag of Scotland.svg Edinburgh Academicals Green check.svg
IRFU flag.svg Connacht Eagles Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
IRFU flag.svg Munster A Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
IRFU flag.svg Ulster A Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg

History

2009–10 Competition

The inaugural competition was contested by 24 teams:

The teams were divided into four pools of six, playing over five weekends during the Autumn International and Six Nations windows, with semi-finals on 24 and 25 April and the final on 16 May. [4] [5]

Each team played each of the other five teams in its pool once (home or away). Two English teams (Cornish Pirates and Doncaster) and two Irish teams (Munster A and Ulster Ravens) topped their respective pools leading to an all-English semi-final and an all-Irish semi-final. Cornish Pirates defeated Munster A in the inaugural final.

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
25 April 2010 - Camborne
 
 
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates 43
 
16 May 2010 - Camborne
 
Flag of England.svg Doncaster 5
 
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates 23
 
24 April 2010 - Thomond Park
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 14
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 27
 
 
IRFU flag.svg Ulster Ravens 3
 

2010–11 Competition

The allocation of teams for the second season was very similar to that of the first:

The format closely mirrored that of the first season, the only difference being the introduction of a quarter final stage

The teams were divided into four pools of six, playing over five weekends during the Autumn International and Six Nations windows, with quarter-finals on 5 or 6 March, semi-finals on 23 April and the final on 7 May. Each team played each of the other five teams in its pool once (home or away), with the top two teams in each pool qualifying for the knock-out stages:

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
5 March 2011 - Sardis Road
 
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd 12
 
23 April 2011 - Sardis Road
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Llanelli 10
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd 25
 
6 March 2011 - Memorial Stadium
 
Flag of England.svg Bristol 36
 
Flag of England.svg Bristol 29
 
7 May 2011 - Memorial Stadium
 
Flag of Scotland.svg Ayr 19
 
Flag of England.svg Bristol 17
 
5 March 2011 - Goldington Road
 
Flag of England.svg Bedford Blues 14
 
Flag of England.svg Bedford Blues 50
 
23 April 2011 - Goldington Road
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 15
 
Flag of England.svg Bedford Blues 43
 
5 March 2011 - Sixways Stadium
 
Flag of England.svg Worcester Warriors 27
 
Flag of England.svg Worcester Warriors 57
 
 
Flag of England.svg Moseley 15
 

2011–12 Competition

The allocation of teams for the third season was identical to that of the second season:

The pool stage saw a change in format and consisted of six pools of four teams playing cross-pool matches, giving each team two home and two away matches. Matches between English teams were played mid-week. Pool matches took place from 21 September to 18 December. The top team from each pool qualified for the quarter-finals, together with the two runners–up with the best records. [6] [7]

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
22 January 2012 – Donnybrook
 
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 32
 
6 April 2012 – RDS
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd 0
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 29
 
20 January 2012 – Ravenhill
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 36
 
IRFU flag.svg Ulster Ravens 9
 
27 April 2012 – Musgrave Park
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 20
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 31
 
21 January 2012 – Pandy Park
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cross Keys 12
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cross Keys 32
 
7 April 2012 – Pandy Park
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Llanelli 8
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Cross Keys 20
 
22 January 2012 – Mennaye Field
 
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates16
 
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates33
 
 
Flag of England.svg Nottingham 3
 

2012–13 Competition

The competition was considerably revamped, with expansion from 24 to 32 teams playing each other home and away in the pool stages (previously, pool matches were played home or away). The allocation of teams for the fourth season was therefore:

The pool stage saw a considerable change in format and consisted of eight pools of four teams, giving each team three home and three away matches. Pool matches took place on the same weekends as the Heineken and Amlin Cups. The top team from each pool qualified for the quarter-finals. [8]

The final round of pool matches, due to be played on the weekend of 18/19/20 January, was considerably disrupted. Of 16 matches, 7 were postponed: Connacht Eagles v Newport was not played until 27 April, the weekend of the semi-finals.

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
6 April 2013 - Goldington Road
 
 
Flag of England.svg Bedford Blues 32
 
27 April 2013 - Goldington Road
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Llanelli 18
 
Flag of England.svg Bedford Blues 15
 
5 April 2013 - Kingston Park
 
Flag of England.svg Newcastle Falcons 18
 
Flag of England.svg Newcastle Falcons 72
 
17 May 2013 – Kingston Park
 
Flag of England.svg Nottingham 17
 
Flag of England.svg Newcastle Falcons 17
 
7 April 2013 - Mennaye Field
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 18
 
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates 9
 
26 April 2013 - Garryowen FC
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 10
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 15
 
7 April 2013 - Memorial Stadium
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 17
 
Flag of England.svg Bristol 26
 
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 30
 

2013–14 Competition

The number of teams playing in the fifth competition was reduced from 32 to 24, with a reduction of Welsh teams from twelve to four:

The twelve Principality Premiership Teams participated in regional play-offs which saw Aberavon, Cross Keys, Llanelli, and Pontypridd qualify for the competition proper.

The pool stage consisted of six pools of four teams, giving each team three home and three away matches. The top team from each group qualified for the quarter-finals, along with two runners-up with the best playing records. [9] The ranking criteria of the quarter finalists has been altered slightly from earlier seasons. Previously, the six pool winners were seeded 1-6 and the two runners up as 7 and 8. This meant that the best runners-up were automatically ranked 7 and 8 even if they had a better playing record than some of the teams ranked 1-6. This is no longer the case. [10]

The draw for the knockout stage was carried out on 27 January 2014. [11] The top four seeds (Leinster A, Leeds Carnegie, Cornish Pirates and Bristol) had home advantage in the quarter-finals. [12] On 14 April, it was announced that the final would be played at the home of the winner of the Pontypridd / Leinster A semi-final. [13] This game ended as a 22 all draw after extra time; Leinster won on tries scored (3 1). [14] Leinster A beat Leeds Carnegie 44 – 17 in the final and retained the cup they won in the previous season  the first team to win the cup for a second time. [15] [16]

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
5 April 2014 – Mennaye Field
 
 
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates 14
 
26 April 2014 – Sardis Road [n 1]
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd 16
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd 22
 
4 April 2014 – Donnybrook
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 22
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 47
 
23 May 2014 – Donnybrook
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 15
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 44
 
4 April 2014 – Memorial Stadium
 
Flag of England.svg Leeds Carnegie 17
 
Flag of England.svg Bristol 39
 
4 May 2014 – Memorial Stadium
 
Flag of England.svg Rotherham Titans 24
 
Flag of England.svg Bristol 25
 
4 April 2014 – Headingley Rugby Stadium
 
Flag of England.svg Leeds Carnegie 30
 
Flag of England.svg Leeds Carnegie 41
 
 
Flag of England.svg Plymouth Albion 21
 
  1. Leinster won on number of tries scored. [14]

2014–15 Competition

The number of teams playing in the sixth competition is reduced from twenty-four to twenty with the withdrawal of the Scottish teams:

The twelve Principality Premiership Teams participating in regional play-offs which saw Aberavon, Carmarthen Quins, Cross Keys and Pontypridd qualify for the competition proper. The Scottish clubs withdrew because of an increase in the number of the pool matches before Christmas, from four to six. Scottish Rugby felt that Scottish teams would not be able to compete fully in both the British and Irish cup and the BT Premiership; the premier competition for clubs in Scotland. [2]

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
24 January 2015 – Castle Park
 
 
Flag of England.svg Doncaster Knights 38
 
14 March 2015 – Castle Park
 
IRFU flag.svg Munster A 17
 
Flag of England.svg Doncaster Knights 27
 
23 January 2015 – Ashton Gate
 
Flag of England.svg Bristol 22
 
Flag of England.svg Bristol 41
 
3 April 2015 – Castle Park
 
Flag of England.svg Yorkshire Carnegie 28
 
Flag of England.svg Doncaster Knights 5
 
24 January 2015 – Sixways Stadium
 
Flag of England.svg Worcester Warriors 35
 
Flag of England.svg Worcester Warriors 24
 
13 March 2015 – Sixways Stadium
 
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Pontypridd 10
 
Flag of England.svg Worcester Warriors 15
 
24 January 2015 – Clifton Lane
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 13
 
Flag of England.svg Rotherham Titans 32
 
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 51
 

2015–16 Competition

Remaining with 20 teams.

Five pools of 4 teams, with the pool winners and the top three runners up going through to the knockout competition.

 
Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
          
 
11 March 2016 – Goldington Road
 
 
Flag of England.svg Bedford Blues 15
 
19 March 2016 – Old Deer Park
 
Flag of Jersey.svg Jersey 19
 
Flag of England.svg London Welsh 36
 
12 March 2016 – Donnybrook
 
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates 15
 
IRFU flag.svg Leinster A 39
 
10 April 2016 – Headingley Rugby Stadium
 
Flag of England.svg London Welsh 45
 
Flag of England.svg Yorkshire Carnegie 10
 
13 March 2016 – Mennaye Field
 
Flag of England.svg London Welsh 33
 
Flag of England.svg Cornish Pirates 38
 
20 March 2016 – Headingley Rugby Stadium
 
Flag of England.svg Doncaster Knights 19
 
Flag of England.svg Yorkshire Carnegie 33
 
13 March 2016 – Headingley Rugby Stadium
 
Flag of Jersey.svg Jersey 32
 
Flag of England.svg Yorkshire Carnegie 50
 
 
Flag of England.svg Moseley 3
 

Notes

  1. Jersey Reds are listed in the English section because they play in the English RFU Championship.

Related Research Articles

Pontypridd RFC

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Rugby union in England

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The RFU Championship is the second tier of the English rugby union league system and was founded in September 1987. The twelve-side league was known as National Division One and in 2009 changed from semi-professional clubs to fully professional. The 2020 champions were Newcastle Falcons, winning automatic promotion to Premiership Rugby.

The 2009–10 British and Irish Cup was the first season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. First round matches began on Friday 20 November 2009 and the final was held on Sunday 16 May 2010.

The 2010–11 British and Irish Cup was the 2nd season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. First round matches began on Friday 15 October 2010 and the final was held on Saturday 7 May 2011.

The 2011–12 RFU Championship was the third season of the second tier of the English domestic rugby union competition, played between August 2011 and May 2012. New teams to the division included Leeds Carnegie who were relegated from the Aviva Premiership 2010-11 and London Scottish who were promoted from 2010–11 National League 1. The first stage was won by Bristol and the final by London Welsh who, after an appeal, won promotion to the Aviva Premiership 2012-13. Esher were relegated to the 2012–13 National League 1.

The 2011–12 British and Irish Cup was the 3rd season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. First round matches began on Wednesday 21 September 2011 and the final was held on Friday 27 April 2012.

The 2012–13 RFU Championship is the fourth season of the professionalised format of the RFU Championship, the second tier of English domestic rugby union competitions, played between August 2012 and May 2013.

The 2012–13 British and Irish Cup was the fourth season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. The final was contest on 17 May 2013 and won by Leinster A with a 78th minute penalty by Noel Reid to beat Newcastle Falcons 18–17 at their home ground Kingston Park. The defending champions Munster A were eliminated in the semi–finals by the eventual winners and Bedford Blues was the other losing semi–finalists.

The 2013–14 British and Irish Cup was the fifth season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. Leinster A were the defending champions having won the 2012–13 Final with a 78th minute penalty by Noel Reid to beat Newcastle Falcons 18–17 at their home ground Kingston Park. There has been four different winners and four different losing finalists of the competition in the first four seasons of its existence.

European Rugby Champions Cup

The European Rugby Champions Cup is an annual rugby union tournament organised by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). It is the top-tier competition for clubs whose countries' national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship. Clubs qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup via their final positions in their respective national/regional leagues or via winning the second-tier Challenge Cup; those that do not qualify are instead eligible to compete in the second-tier Challenge Cup.

European Rugby Challenge Cup

The European Rugby Challenge Cup is an annual European rugby union competition organised by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). It is the second-tier competition for European clubs behind the European Rugby Champions Cup. From its inception in 1996 to 2014, it was known as the European Challenge Cup and governed by European Rugby Cup (ERC). Following disagreements in the structure of the tournament's format and division of revenue, the English and French leagues withdrew to form the EPCR, which organized the Challenge Cup and the Champions Cup since the 2014–15 season.

The 2014–15 British and Irish Cup is the sixth season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. Leinster A are the defending champions having won the 2013–14 final against Yorkshire Carnegie 44–17 at Donnybrook on 23 May 2014. There has been four different winners and five different losing finalists of the competition in the five seasons of its existence.

The 2015–16 British and Irish Cup was the seventh season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. Worcester Warriors were the defending champions having won the 2014–15 final against Doncaster Knights 35–5 at Castle Park, Doncaster on 3 April 2015. There have been five different winners and six different losing finalists of the competition in the six seasons of its existence. The format of the competition was similar to last season with Scottish clubs not competing. This season the four Welsh teams are the reserve sides of the teams competing in the Pro 12 competition instead of clubs from the Welsh Premier Division.

The 2016–17 RFU Championship, known for sponsorship reasons as the Greene King IPA Championship, is the eighth season of the professionalised format of the RFU Championship, the second tier of the English rugby union league system run by the Rugby Football Union. It is contested by eleven English clubs and one from Jersey in the Channel Islands. This will be the fourth year of the competition's sponsorship with Greene King Brewery. The twelve teams in the RFU Championship also compete in the British and Irish Cup, along with clubs from Ireland and Wales. Some matches in the RFU Championship are broadcast on Sky Sports.

The 2016–17 British and Irish Cup was the eighth season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. London Welsh are the defending champions having won the 2015–16 final against Yorkshire Carnegie 10–33 at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds on 10 April 2016. There have been six different winners and six different losing finalists in the seven seasons of its existence. The format of the competition is similar to last season with Scottish clubs not competing. For the second consecutive season the four Welsh teams are the reserve sides of the teams competing in the Pro12 competition instead of clubs from the Welsh Premier Division.

The 2017–18 British and Irish Cup is the ninth and final season of the annual rugby union competition for second tier, semi-professional clubs from Britain and Ireland. Munster A are the defending champions having won the 2016–17 final against Jersey Reds 29–28 at Irish Independent Park, Cork on 21 April 2017. The format of the competition is similar to last season with Scottish clubs not competing. For the third consecutive season the four Welsh teams are the reserve sides of the teams competing in the Pro14 competition instead of clubs from the Welsh Premier Division.

The RFU Championship Cup is an annual rugby union competition introduced by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in 2018 to provide a cup competition for English second tier clubs playing in the RFU Championship, following the disbanding of the British and Irish Cup at the end of the 2017-18 season. At present the Championship Cup is scheduled to take place for at least two seasons.

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