|Number of teams||20–32|
|Related competition|| RFU Championship |
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.
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.
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.
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.
From the 2015–16 season to its end in 2018, Wales was represented by regional Premiership Select sides from the four Welsh regions.
|2009–10|| Cornish Pirates ||23 – 14||Recreation Ground, Camborne||4,240|
|2010–11|| Bristol ||17 – 14||Memorial Ground, Bristol||4,375|
|2011–12|| Munster A ||31 – 12||Musgrave Park, Cork||3,000|
|2012–13|| Leinster A ||18 – 17||Kingston Park, Newcastle||3,838|
|2013–14|| Leinster A ||44 – 17||Donnybrook, Dublin||2,024|
|2014–15|| Worcester Warriors ||35 – 5||Castle Park, Doncaster||3,115|
|2015–16|| London Welsh ||33 – 10||Headingley Stadium, Leeds||3,107|
|2016–17|| Munster A ||29 – 28||Irish Independent Park, Cork||983|
|2017–18|| Ealing Trailfinders ||22 – 7||Trailfinders Sports Ground, London||1,386|
|Birmingham & Solihull|
|Cardiff Blues Premiership Select|
|Dragons Premiership Select|
|Ospreys Premiership Select|
|Scarlets Premiership Select|
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.
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.
|25 April 2010 - Camborne|
|16 May 2010 - Camborne|
|24 April 2010 - Thomond Park|
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:
|5 March 2011 - Sardis Road|
|23 April 2011 - Sardis Road|
|6 March 2011 - Memorial Stadium|
|7 May 2011 - Memorial Stadium|
|5 March 2011 - Goldington Road|
|23 April 2011 - Goldington Road|
|5 March 2011 - Sixways Stadium|
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.
|22 January 2012 – Donnybrook|
|6 April 2012 – RDS|
|20 January 2012 – Ravenhill|
|27 April 2012 – Musgrave Park|
|21 January 2012 – Pandy Park|
|7 April 2012 – Pandy Park|
|22 January 2012 – Mennaye Field|
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.
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.
|6 April 2013 - Goldington Road|
|27 April 2013 - Goldington Road|
|5 April 2013 - Kingston Park|
|17 May 2013 – Kingston Park|
|7 April 2013 - Mennaye Field|
|26 April 2013 - Garryowen FC|
|7 April 2013 - Memorial Stadium|
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.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.
The draw for the knockout stage was carried out on 27 January 2014. – 1). 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.The top four seeds (Leinster A, Leeds Carnegie, Cornish Pirates and Bristol) had home advantage in the quarter-finals. 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. This game ended as a 22 all draw after extra time; Leinster won on tries scored (3
|5 April 2014 – Mennaye Field|
|26 April 2014 – Sardis Road|
|4 April 2014 – Donnybrook|
|23 May 2014 – Donnybrook|
|4 April 2014 – Memorial Stadium|
|4 May 2014 – Memorial Stadium|
|4 April 2014 – Headingley Rugby Stadium|
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.
|24 January 2015 – Castle Park|
|14 March 2015 – Castle Park|
|23 January 2015 – Ashton Gate|
|3 April 2015 – Castle Park|
|24 January 2015 – Sixways Stadium|
|13 March 2015 – Sixways Stadium|
|24 January 2015 – Clifton Lane|
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.
|11 March 2016 – Goldington Road|
|19 March 2016 – Old Deer Park|
|12 March 2016 – Donnybrook|
|10 April 2016 – Headingley Rugby Stadium|
|13 March 2016 – Mennaye Field|
|20 March 2016 – Headingley Rugby Stadium|
|13 March 2016 – Headingley Rugby Stadium|
Pontypridd Rugby Football Club are a rugby union team from Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. They compete in the Indigo Group Premiership, which they won for four consecutive seasons between 2012 and 2015, and the Specsavers National Cup which they have won on 6 occasions with the most recent being in 2014.
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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.
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.
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.