Match Preview: Challenge Cup final to see new winner crowned

Match Preview: Challenge Cup final to see new winner crowned

Friday night’s EPCR Challenge Cup final will see one club lift the trophy for the first time as Glasgow Warriors clash with RC Toulon at the Aviva Stadium.

17 clubs have won the EPCR Challenge Cup to date, so either Glasgow or Toulon will become the 18th in Dublin.

BKT United Rugby Championship (URC) outfit Glasgow have enjoyed a stellar EPCR Challenge Cup campaign, reaching the quarter-finals for the first time before seeing off Scarlets to clinch a maiden EPCR final.

Meanwhile, TOP 14 giants Toulon powered into the final for a second year running thanks to a clinical win over Benetton Rugby. The three-time Heineken Champions Cup winners will be looking to triumph in the EPCR Challenge Cup’s showpiece game at the fifth time of asking.

It is set to be a high-quality affair, with Glasgow boasting an array of Scotland internationals and the Toulon squad featuring a plethora of stars with EPCR honours already to their names.

The game kicks off at 20:00 (UK & Irish time) and will be available to watch on BT Sport, France TV, beIN SPORTS and SuperSport.

Route to the final: Glasgow Warriors

Round 1: Bath Rugby 19 Glasgow Warriors 22

Round 2: Glasgow Warriors 26 USAP 18

Round 3: USAP 26 Glasgow Warriors 40

Round 4: Glasgow Warriors 19 Bath Rugby 19

Glasgow finished second in Pool A on 16 points

Round of 16: Glasgow Warriors 73 Dragons RFC 33

Quarter-finals: Glasgow Warriors 31 Emirates Lions 21

Semi-finals: Scarlets 17 Glasgow Warriors 35

Route to the final: RC Toulon

Round 1: Zebre Parma 21 RC Toulon 24

Round 2: RC Toulon 29 Bath Rugby 7

Round 3: Bath Rugby 23 RC Toulon 35

Round 4: RC Toulon 14 Zebre Parma 5

Toulon finished top of Pool A on 19 points

Round of 16: RC Toulon 36 Toyota Cheetahs 21

Quarter-finals: RC Toulon 48 Lyon 23

Semi-finals: RC Toulon 23 Benetton Rugby 0

Key facts

  • Toulon will be appearing in a record fifth EPCR Challenge Cup final on Friday evening. The three-time Heineken Champions Cup winners have never lifted the Challenge Cup, so they could become the fifth club in history after Bath Rugby, Northampton Saints, Wasps and Leinster Rugby to win both EPCR titles.
  • Glasgow have reached an EPCR final for the first time in their history, and they will be the second Scottish club to play in a Challenge Cup decider, following in the footsteps of Edinburgh Rugby in 2015.
  • Glasgow back-row forward Jack Dempsey leads the tournament statistics in carries (68) and defenders beaten (30).
  • Toulon No.8 Sergio Parisse, Waisea Vuidravuwalu and Jérémy Sinzelle could each be in line for a second Challenge Cup title after all three were part of the Stade Français Paris side who defeated Gloucester Rugby 25-17 in the 2017 final at BT Murrayfield.
  • Toulon scrum-half Benoit Paillaugue could go one better and make it three winners’ medals. Twice victorious in 2016 and 2021 with Montpellier Hérault Rugby, Paillaugue could emulate Ben Foden and Christian Day, who won with Sale Sharks in 2005, and with Northampton in 2009 and 2014.
  • Glasgow hooker Johnny Matthews is the tournament’s leading try-scorer with seven, including a club record of five in the Round of 16 win against Dragons RFC.
  • Toulon wing Jiuta Wainiqolo has made the most offloads this season with 16 from his six appearances to date.
  • Both Toulon’s principal coaches, Pierre Mignoni and Franck Azéma, were Challenge Cup winners as players. Mignoni was victorious with ASM Clermont Auvergne – along with the club’s current Sporting Director, Laurent Emmanuelli – when they defeated Bath Rugby 22-16 at the Twickenham Stoop in 2007, and Azéma also won with Clermont – then styled as Montferrand – who got the better of Bourgoin in the 1999 decider in Lyon.
  • Toulon back-row forward Cornell du Preez, who was previously capped for Scotland, was on the losing side with Edinburgh in the 2015 final.

Latest News