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Saturday 12th December 15:00 GMT


The top two sides in Pool 5 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup meet in Reading on Saturday in Round 3 of this seasons tournament. The top two sides in Pool 5 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup meet in Reading on Saturday in Round 3 of this seasons tournament. Edinburgh who came so close last season to becoming the first Scottish side to win a European trophy, when they lost in the Challenge Cup final against Gloucester at the Stoop in London, currently head the Pool with a two point advantage over the Exiles. Saturday's contest will be a repeat of last season's quarter final, which the Scots won by 23-18 at the Madejski Stadium.

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The Scots have beaten the two French Top 14 clubs, Agen and Grenoble, that make up the Pool in their opening fixtures, but have failed to secure a bonus point, which has prevented them from taking complete control of Pool 5.

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London Irish come into the game with a woeful domestic record, having lost all six of their Premiership fixtures, and failed to secure even a solitary losing bonus point. London Irish only win in any tournament this season, coming when they thrashed Agen 48-10 in their opening Challenge Cup match. If Edinburgh repeat last season's win in reading, it will be a third successive away win in the Challenge Cup, the first time that they will have managed such a feat.

Posted: 5th April 2015


London Irish have had a poor season in the Aviva Premiership, but their performances in the Challenge Cup in contrast has seen them storm into the last eight. With only the Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park beating them during their qualifying campaign.

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Edinburgh similarly are struggling in the Guinness PRO12 tournament, but qualified from their European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool with five wins from their six games. Having been faced with the dual French challenge of Lyon Olympique and Bordeaux-Begles in Pool 4, the Scots will have been highly delighted to have made it this far in the competition.

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Sunday will be the first time that the Exiles have hosted Scottish opposition in the Challenge Cup at the Madejski Stadium. They have played Sunday’sopponents four times previously, in the Champions Cup Pool stages in 2002/03 and 2011/12, with Edinburgh on a run of three successive wins. For London Irish this will be a fifth Challenge Cup quarter-final, having won their last eight ties in 2000, 2002 and 2006, although they lost their most recent quarter-final in 2009. With both teams struggling in the respective leagues this season, success in the Challenge Cup might just open the back door to next season’s Champions Cup.

Tags: European Rugby Challenge Cup, London Irish, Edinburgh, Arms Park, Madejski Stadium
Posted: 12th December 2015

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