2015/16 European Rugby Challenge Cup to provide tests on and off the field says Falcons DOR
Newcastle Falcons’ Dean Richards says European Rugby Challenge Cup pool 1 will pose challenges to his side in all six games, following the draw for the 15/16 tournament.
The Falcons have been drawn against French side Brive Correzze, Guinness Pro 12 side Connacht and Russian qualifiers Enisei-STM with the Director of Rugby believing each of these clubs will provide quality opposition.
Richards said: “We’ve got a very interesting group, with teams who will provide us with a test on the field and some logistical challenges to meet in terms of getting out to the games and for the other clubs for the games at Kingston Park.”
“We know Brive having played them at Kingston Park back in 2013/14 and they are a good side, while Connacht caused some upsets last season in the Pro 12 and I expect Pat Lam will have his side ready to be a force in the pool.”
“Enisei are a bit of an unknown quantity, but have earned their place through the qualifiers and it will be good to be breaking new ground for the competition.”
Having made the quarter finals of the competition last season, the ERCC provided a number of high points, including opportunities for some of the club’s young talent to make their initial breakthroughs into the first team.
With more of the same expected this year, Richards predicts it will once again be a competition enjoyed by players, supporters and staff alike.
“We enjoyed our season in the tournament last season, with the wins against Stade Francais at home and Newport Gwent Dragons away both being outstanding.”
“It’s also a tournament that throws up the chance to sample new experiences and cultures. We visited Romania last year and have another new experience to look forward to with the trip to Russia.”