The 2016/17 European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments were launched today at The Convention Centre Dublin with high-profile representatives of the PRO12 clubs as well as organisers EPCR pledging to create “outstanding rugby experiences” during the season.

Twenty clubs will set out on the road to Challenge Cup glory on Thursday, 13 October when Harlequins host Stade Français Paris at The Stoop with the Champions Cup kicking off the following night with the clash of Glasgow Warriors and Leicester Tigers at Scotstoun. Both pieces of silverware will be lifted at Edinburgh’s BT Murrayfield where the finals will be staged on 12 and 13 May 2017.

All seven PRO12 clubs (Connacht Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Leinster Rugby, Munster Rugby, Scarlets, Ulster Rugby and Zebre Rugby) competing in the Champions Cup attended the launch with their captains joined either by their Directors of Rugby or Head Coaches. Edinburgh Rugby represented the clubs in the Challenge Cup.

“Close to one million spectators passed through the turnstiles to watch our matches last season and the global interest shown through television and online media also showcases the compelling sport we have to offer through these tournaments, ” said EPCR Chairman, Simon Halliday. “This season, we will pass 18 million spectators in the history of the Champions Cup and we are really looking forward to the finals at BT Murrayfield after the success of the events in Lyon back in May.”

“We are delighted to work with the leagues, unions, clubs, partners, media and fans to provide outstanding rugby experiences through our tournaments and events, ” said EPCR Director General, Vincent Gaillard. “The compelling nature of our competitions has given us the potential to extend our commercial portfolio and has attracted interest in our tournaments from both traditional and emerging markets, showing that we can grow new audiences and to inspire through the high level of sport that we have to offer.”

This was the third launch event after the ones for Premiership clubs on Wednesday, 28 September (Twickenham Stoop) and for TOP 14 clubs on Monday, 3 October (Pavillon Wagram, Paris).

Around 20, 000 tickets have already been sold for the finals weekend at BT Murrayfield. Fans can secure their place at the experience by buying their tickets here: http://epcrugby.com/edinburgh-2017.php

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