French giants, Stade Francais, will provide the opposition when the Ospreys host their first ever European rugby quarter-final in the spring - and tickets will go on sale at 1pm on Monday.
The Ospreys booked a home tie by finishing top of Pool 2, their 26-21 win in Newcastle on Saturday night not only securing top seed ranking, which means they face eighth seed Stade Francais, but earning the region a place in history as the first team ever to record six bonus point wins in qualification to finish with a perfect 30 points.
The French club secured the third and final best runners-up spot earlier today when they defeated Harlequins in Paris 27-17, finishing second in Pool 5 behind Edinburgh.
The 14-times T14 champions boast real European pedigree having twice finished runners-up in the Heineken Cup (2000–01, 2004–05), and more recently ending up losing finalists in the Challenge Cup on two occasions (2010–11, 2012–13).
The sides have met four times before in European competition, Stade Francais winning two, the Ospreys one, with one draw.
Crucially, the French side has never won in two previous visits to the Liberty.
The Ospreys won 13-8 in October 2005, while honours were even at 22-22 in January 2007 when a long-range Lionel Beauxis penalty in added time denied the Ospreys a win that would have given them a first ever Heineken Cup quarter-final.
Because of the one-off nature of this fixture it is not included in a season membership package.
However, to reward the ongoing support from our hard core of loyal fans, we have negotiated a substantial discount of £5 on the usual match ticket rate (U16s in standard seating get £1 discount). In addition, members have until Saturday 18th March to secure their usual seat for this game.
The eagerly awaited tie is scheduled for the weekend of 30/31 March-1/2 April.
Swansea City have a home game that weekend against Middlesbrough, currently scheduled for 3pm on Saturday 1st April, while they are also due to be home once again on Tuesday 4th April, versus Tottenham.
The EPL television schedule for that week has not yet been confirmed so either, or both, may yet change due to television coverage. We are already in discussions with Liberty Stadium management, European Professional Club Rugby officials and our broadcast partners, along with the football club, but it may be as late as Monday 27th February before we are able to confirm the time and date of this fixture.
However, we have agreed to put tickets on sale via the Liberty Stadium as soon as this Monday to enable those supporters who are able to attend any day across the weekend to get their hands on tickets nice and early. You will be able to buy from the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office and online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets.
Should the match be played at an alternative venue, then purchased tickets will remain valid.
For clubs and schools group bookings please contact Tom Sloane from Ospreys in the Community on 01792 616512 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHALLENGE CUP QUARTER-FINAL TICKET PRICES
- Monday 23rd January, 1pm – Quarter-final match tickets go on sale. Season members get discounted rate with their usual seats held for them
- No later than Monday 27th February – Final confirmation of match date and time
- Saturday 18th March, 6pm – Season members discount and seat hold deadline. Any purchases after this will be at standard match ticket rate and you are not guaranteed your usual seat
- 30/31 March-1/2 April – Challenge Cup quarter-final versus Stade Francais at the Liberty Stadium
All commercial partners with a season long agreement, for hospitality boxes, Executive Club or OSTC Suite, can secure their usual package at a 10 per cent discount on the usual match-by-match rate. To receive the discount you will need to have booked by Wednesday 1st March.
Whether you are an existing partner or enquiring for a one-off booking at the quarter-final, we have a package for you. Please contact the commercial team for more details on 01792 616488 or email email@example.com
The qualifiers for the 2016/17 Challenge Cup quarter-finals and their rankings at the conclusion of the pool stage are as follows:
1 Ospreys (winner Pool 2 – 30 points)
2 Gloucester Rugby (winner Pool 1 – 25 points)
3 Edinburgh Rugby (winner Pool 5 – 24 points)
4 Bath Rugby (winner Pool 4 – 23 points)
5 Brive (winner Pool 3– 23 points)
6 La Rochelle (best pool runner-up – 24 points)
7 Cardiff Blues (second best pool runner-up – 22 points)
8 Stade Francais Paris (third best pool runner-up – 20 points)
The quarter-final matches to be played on 30/31 March / 1/2 April are as follows:
QF 1: (1) Ospreys v Stade Francais Paris (8)
QF 2: (4) Bath Rugby v Brive (5)
QF 3: (3) Edinburgh Rugby v La Rochelle (6)
QF 4: (2) Gloucester Rugby v Cardiff Blues (7)