Connacht will travel to play Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens in the Champions Cup play-off semi-final on Saturday, May 20 (4pm).

Victory for Stade Francais over Gloucester in tonight’s Challenge Cup final saw Northampton claim England’s spot in the play-offs.

The winners of the Northampton v Connacht clash will have home advantage in the play-off final against either Stade Francais or Cardiff Blues.

Connacht supporters travelling to Northampton for the game are advised to purchase tickets directly from Northampton Saints here. There is no official ‘away’ section but the Connacht Clan Supporters Club have been purchasing tickets in Terrace D.

Friday 19 May

Play-off 2: Stade Français Paris v Cardiff Blues, Stade Jean Bouin (18.00)

Saturday 20 May

Play-off 1: Northampton Saints v Connacht Rugby, Franklin’s Gardens (16.00)

Play-off Final – Friday 26 May
Winner Play-off 1 v winner Play-off 2 (19.45)
The winner of Play-off 1 will have home advantage
Sky Sports

The following clubs have already secured their places in next season’s tournament:

Aviva Premiership – Wasps, Exeter Chiefs, Saracens, Leicester Tigers, Bath Rugby, Harlequins

Guinness PRO12 – Munster Rugby, Leinster Rugby, Scarlets, Ospreys, Ulster Rugby, Glasgow Warriors, Benetton Rugby

TOP 14 – 
La Rochelle, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Montpellier, RC Toulon, Castres Olympique, Racing 92

  • The remaining 18 clubs from the Aviva Premiership, the Guinness PRO12 and the TOP 14 which have not qualified for the Champions Cup will play in the 2017/18 Challenge Cup. The 19th and 20th places in next season’s Challenge Cup have been secured by Russia’s Enisei-STM and Krasny Yar who will play in tomorrow’s Continental Shield final at the BT Murrayfield complex.
  • The Pool Draws for 2017/18 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup will take place in Neuchâtel, Switzerland on Thursday 8 June.

Connacht host Scarlets in their final Guinness PRO12 home game of the season at the Sportsground on Saturday night with Champions Cup qualification within reach (7.35pm).

Don’t miss your final chance to see Connacht at the Sportsground in the PRO12 this season, get your match ticket for Saturday night here

With a place in the top eight secured, the focus now is on building momentum ahead of the play-off semi-final next month away to either French or English opposition.

In-form Scarlets will provide a formidable challenge but Connacht have lost just twice in Galway since mid-September with the home crowd roaring the Westerners to nine wins in their last 11 home games.

Last time out, Connacht played some scintillating rugby in a thrilling encounter against Leinster but the visitors were clinical on the night and took every chance that came their way to record a 37-24 victory.

Following the Scarlets clash, Connacht are on the road to Thomond Park for the final PRO12 game of the season on Saturday, May 6 (5.15pm).

We have a once in a lifetime prize to give away – a one-off, specially embroidered, signed Connacht jersey to mark captain John Muldoon’s 300th Connacht appearance. Click here for more details.

The 20th place in the Champions Cup will be decided by a series of play-off matches that will include the following clubs:

  • The seventh-ranked club from the Premiership, or the winner of the Challenge Cup if from the Premiership and not already qualified for the Champions Cup.
  • The seventh-ranked club from the TOP 14, or the winner of the Challenge Cup if from the TOP 14 and not already qualified for the Champions Cup.
  • The clubs that finish 7th and 8th in the Guinness PRO12.

Play-Off Draw

19/20/21 May

Play-off 1: Aviva Premiership (seventh-ranked club) v Guinness PRO12 (Team that finish 8th – Cardiff Blues or Connacht)

Play-off 2: TOP 14 (seventh-ranked club) v Guinness PRO12 (Team that finish 7th – Cardiff Blues or Connacht)

The Premiership and TOP 14 clubs will have home advantage.

26/27/28 May

Play-off Final: winner Play-off 1 v winner Play-off 2 (The winner of Play-off 1 will have home advantage).

The winner of the Play-off final will take the 20th place in the 2017/18 Champions Cup.

Connacht’s possible play-off semi-final opponents

France: Lyon Olympique, Stade Francais, Pau, Castres, Bordeaux-Begles, Brive, Toulouse, Racing 92, Toulon.

England: Harlequins, Gloucester, Northampton, Newcastle, Bath.

Connacht’s semi-final opponents will either be decided following the completion of the PRO12, Top14 and Premiership on Saturday, May 6, or after the European Challenge Cup final between Stade Francais and Gloucester on Friday, May 12.

 

See our latest squad update here and the match preview for Connacht v Scarlets here.

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