The 2016/17 European Rugby Challenge Cup draw has thrown up some “exciting and difficult challenges” for the Ospreys, according to Head Coach, Steve Tandy.
Wales legend Ieuan Evans and former French star Dimitri Yachvili did the draw at the EPCR HQ in Neuchatel, Switzerland, on Wednesday afternoon, pulling the Ospreys out of the hat as a Tier 1 team, and placing them in Pool 2 along with Grenoble, Newcastle Falcons and Lyon.
After taking time out of training to watch the draw intently at the region’s Llandarcy Academy of Sport base, Tandy said:
“We’re all really looking forward to getting stuck into this now. It’s a good draw for us, with a number of exciting and difficult challenges that will test us as a team and give the supporters some new experiences to enjoy and new teams to watch us go up against us.
“Lyon have invested heavily into their squad and have real strength in depth, bringing in some quality players ahead for their return to the T14, while Grenoble showed what they can do in this competition last season, winning their pool and knocking Connacht out in the quarters before losing to Harlequins in the semis.
“Newcastle are a typical English Premiership side, physical and hard nosed. With Dean Richards in charge, you know exactly what you are going to get, and they are growing as a team year on year.
“We’ve got a young squad, but it’s a squad that has gained some great experience over the last year or so, and they know that they need to kick on this season. Going to places like Grenoble, Lyon and Newcastle will provide them with different challenges to what they’ll face week in, week out, in the PRO12, but they are desperate to show what they can do in this competition.
”We’ll need our supporters to be up for this challenge with us, really getting behind the team at home and away.”
Admission for all home games in the Challenge Cup is covered by an Ospreys season membership, which is on sale now.
Renewals start at just £109, when purchased before the Earlybird deadline on Saturday 9th July, with new memberships costing from £149. For more information or to buy your 2016/17 season membership please visit ospreysrugby.com/2016membership
Full details of the fixture list will be confirmed by EPCR over the coming weeks, keep checking the website for updates.
European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 2
EPCR weekends – 2016/17 season
Round 1: 13/14/15/16 October
Round 2: 20/21/22/23 October
Round 3: 8/9/10/11 December
Round 4: 15/16/17/18 December
Round 5: 12/13/14/15 January 2017
Round 6: 19/20/21/22 January 2017
Quarter-finals: 30/31 March - 1/2 April 2017
Semi-finals: 21/22/23 April 2017
Final: Friday 12 May, BT Murrayfield