With the Challenge Cup quarter-finals just under two months away, we are taking a look at some of the greatest finals of all time today, including two stunning victories for Cardiff Blues. 

2006 – Gloucester Rugby 36 London Irish 34 (AET)
Gloucester won their first European trophy after a thrilling final back in 2006, the first Challenge Cup decider to go to extra time.

James Forrester’s 91st minute try proved decisive as it propelled Gloucester back in front, after two late Irish tries had seen them rally from 12 points behind with 15 minutes left to draw level at 31-31 and force the additional half hour. 

2010 – Cardiff Blues 28-21 RC Toulon
Cardiff became the first Welsh team to claim a European title after stunning a star-studded Toulon squad who included Sonny Bill Williams, Jonny Wilkinson, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Tana Umaga and Tom May.  

Jamie Roberts, Bradley Davies and Leigh Halfpenny all crossed in the second half for the Blues, who were captained by Gethin Jenkins.  

2011 – Harlequins 19-18 Stade Français Paris 
Harlequins became the first club to win the Challenge Cup three times after Nick Evans displayed remarkable coolness under pressure to land a touchline conversion of Gonzalo Camacho’s 77th minute try.

The 2001 and 2004 champions looked to be in a spot of bother at 18-12 down after four penalties from Lionel Beauxis and drop-goals by Mathieu Bastareaud and Martin Rodriguez, but Evans proved the match-winner with four penalties as well as his last-gasp conversion. 

2015 – Gloucester Rugby 19-13 Edinburgh Rugby
A first-half try from Billy Twelvetrees allied to 14 points from Greig Laidlaw ended Gloucester’s nine-year wait for a European trophy as they completed their Challenge Cup campaign with a 100 per cent record after nine wins from nine matches.

Edinburgh, in their first European final, were unable to capitalise fully on the 64th minute sending-off of Bill Meakes for a high tackle, with Ross Ford’s 65th minute score being their only try. 

2018 – Cardiff Blues 31 Gloucester Rugby 30 

Cardiff Blues lifted the European Rugby Challenge Cup for the second time after a dramatic 31-30 victory over Gloucester Rugby at the San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao.

Gareth Anscombe was the hero for Cardiff Blues, as he slotted over a 79th minute penalty to clinch the Challenge Cup for the Welsh region in Danny Wilson’s final match. 

CHALLENGE CUP quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Friday 18 September
QF 4
: Bristol Bears v Dragons, Ashton Gate Stadium (19.45) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Saturday 19 September
QF 3: Bordeaux-Bègles v Edinburgh Rugby, Stade Chaban-Delmas (13.30) beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
QF 1: RC Toulon v Scarlets, Stade Félix Mayol (21.00); France 4 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport / S4C

Sunday 20 September
QF 2: Leicester Tigers v Castres Olympique, Welford Road (15.00) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1: RC Toulon v Scarlets will play the winner of QF 2: Leicester Tigers v Castres Olympique
Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3: Bordeaux-Bègles v Edinburgh Rugby will play the winner of QF 4: Bristol Bears v Dragons
(Matches to be played on 25/26/27 September)

2020 Challenge Cup final: weekend 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)