Ahead of Tuesday’s 2022/23 EPCR Challenge Cup pool draw, we look at the clubs returning to the competition, and highlights of their past appearances, beginning with Aviron Bayonnais.
In only their second season competing in the Challenge Cup, Bayonne reached the knockout stages for the first time during the 2005/06 campaign before bowing out at the quarter-finals when they were beaten 48-5 by finalists London Irish.
At the pool stage, Bayonne recorded four wins from six games on their way to recording 20 points, with both of their losses coming against Gloucester Rugby – who would go on to lift the trophy.
Two of Bayonne’s Pool 3 wins came against Romanian club Bucharesti, before completing a European double over RC Toulon, which included an emphatic 62-0 over their TOP 14 rivals at Stade Jean Dauger.Bucharesti, before completing a European double over RC Toulon, which included an emphatic 62-0 over their TOP 14 rivals at Stade Jean Dauger.
🚨1 WEEK TO GO🚨
The draw for the 2022/23 #ChallengeCupRugby season will take place place in Dublin on Tuesday, 28 June 🤩
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) June 21, 2022
2011/12: Highest points total
Bayonne’s best points total at the pool stage came in the 2011/12 season as they agonisingly missed out on a place in the quarter-finals for a second time in their history.
The French club tallied 22 points across their six Pool 3 games, finishing just two behind Wasps, who were beaten by eventual winners Biarritz Olympique at the quarter-final stage.
Despite finishing second in Pool 3, with a record of five wins and one loss, it was still a record-breaking campaign for Bayonne.
During their 92-6 win over Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo, Bayonne set their record for most tries and conversions in a single Challenge Cup game as well as recording their highest score and win margin in the competition.