The European Rugby Challenge Cup is an annual European rugby union competition organised by European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR). It is the second-tier competition for European clubs behind the European Rugby Champions Cup. From its inception in 1996 to 2014, it was known as the European Challenge Cup and governed by European Rugby Cup (ERC). Following disagreements in the structure of the tournament’s format and division of revenue, the English and French leagues withdrew to form the EPCR, which organized the Challenge Cup and the Champions Cup since the 2014–15 season.
The Challenge Cup is contested between 20 teams; 18 qualifying from the three main European domestic leagues (Premiership Rugby, Top 14, and Pro14), and two qualifying from the Continental Shield competition between teams from second-tier level Rugby Europe nations.
Clermont are the current Challenge Cup holders, having won the 2018–19 European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Rugby fans across the world can this weekend watch stars of the global game in the 25th anniversary season of European club rugby’s blue-riband tournament. A host of broadcasters as well as a brand new OTT platform will screen this weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup showpiece final clashes on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.