This weekend sees the return go the Anglo-Welsh Cup, so we thought we’d take a closer look at how it works.
The Anglo-Welsh Cup works in a slightly different way to other competitions. There are four pools, each consisting of four teams – three from the Aviva Premiership and one Welsh region. However, teams in the same pool do not play each other, instead playing all four teams from another pool.
Pool 1 plays Pool 4, and Pool 2 plays Pool 3, each side playing home and away twice.
Bath Rugby have been drawn in Pool 1 alongside Cardiff Blues, Gloucester Rugby and Wasps, and will play Pool 4 – Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons and Ospreys.
Pool 2 consists of Dragons, Exeter Chiefs, Harlequins and Sale Sharks, and Pool 3 is made up of Northampton Saints, Saracens, Scarlets and Worcester Warriors.
The match points allocation is the same as the game in general for wins (4), draws (2 each) and try and losing bonus points (1).
Pool winners qualify for the knock-out stages and will be ranked first to fourth on points total, then if that total is equal, wins, then tries scored, then points difference. The clubs ranked 1 and 2 get the home semi-finals, and play the fourth and third ranked teams respectively.
Ones to watch:
The Anglo-Welsh Cup has long been associated with showcasing some of the exciting, young talent coming through the ranks at each club, so here are a few to keep your eye out for from our opposition.
Theo Brophy-Clews - London Irish
Brophy-Clews is one of Irish’s brightest prospects. The Academy product has represented England through the U17, U18 and U20 age groups and now looks set to make his mark in a first team shirt for the Exiles. The 20-year-old joined Bath’s Darren Atkins, Josh Bayliss and Zach Mercer in the England U20 squad at the World U20 Championship in Georgia over the summer, helping guide his country to a place in the final.
Greg Bateman - Leicester Tigers
Bateman joined Leicester Tigers from Exeter Chiefs at the end of the 2014/15 campaign. The versatile hooker, who made history for his club playing all three front row positions last season has shown his value in abundance at Welford Road. Strong at the set-piece and with ball in hand, Bateman could be a crucial figure during Leicester’s assault on the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
Callum Chick - Newcastle Falcons
Chick joined the Falcons’ Academy at the age of 12 and has since gone from strength-to-strength. The back rower signed a professional contract in 2015-16, during which time he guided England U20s to the 2016 Junior World Championship title. Last season, Chick made his breakthrough in an impressive campaign, which saw him named Academy Player of the Year.
James Hook - Ospreys
Capped 81 times by Wales, there are not many players more experienced than James Hook. The fly-half was a part of the Wales squad that won the 2012 and 2013 Six Nations and has recently returned to his homeland following stints with Perpignan and Gloucester Rugby. A superb reader of the game and an impressive kicking game to match, the 32-year-old will be looking to assert his authority on the competition this year.
Bath Rugby Anglo-Welsh Cup fixtures:
Round One – London Irish v Bath Rugby – Saturday 4th November, kick-off 15:00
Round Two – Bath Rugby v Leicester Tigers – Friday 10th November, kick-off 19:45
Round Three – Bath Rugby v Newcastle Falcons – weekend of 26th/27th/28th January
Round Four – Ospreys v Bath Rugby – weekend of 2nd/3rd/4th February
Tickets are available for our Round Two clash with arch-rivals Leicester Tigers next Friday – click here to get yours now, or call the Ticket Office on 0844 448 1865.
Hospitality is also available for this game, so why not watch the rugby in style? Click here for more information.