EPCR Challenge Cup teams will be looking to head into the competition on top form as they feature in domestic games this weekend, a week before the start of this season’s tournament.
17 of the of 18 teams involved in the 2022/23 EPCR Challenge Cup feature in games across the Gallagher Premiership, United Rugby Championship (URC) and TOP 14.
Bath Rugby visit Harlequins in the Premiership tonight and have Joe Cokanasiga back on the wing, with Josh Bayliss coming in at No.8 and Cameron Redpath returning at inside centre.
In Saturday’s Premiership games, Newcastle Falcons and Bristol Bears both face Heineken Champions Cup sides as they visit London Irish and host Leicester Tigers respectively.
Wing Adam Radwan returns for Newcastle while centre Semi Radradra makes his long-awaited return from injury for Bristol, who also have prop Ellis Genge back from England duty.
In the URC on Saturday, Zebre Parma welcome Glasgow Warriors in an all-EPCR Challenge Cup Pool A affair. Centre Sione Tuipulotu is among a returning Scotland contingent for Glasgow.
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Connacht Rugby host Benetton Rugby in another clash between EPCR Challenge Cup contenders, with wing Mack Hansen back from injury for the Irish province and English fly-half Jacob Umaga making his first start for the Italian side.
Dragons RFC travel to DHL Stormers and the Welsh region are boosted by the returning Rhodri Williams and Bradley Roberts at scrum-half and hooker.
Cardiff Rugby are also away at a South African side in Vodacom Bulls, and wing Jason Harries is set to make his 50th appearance for the Welsh region.
Saturday’s TOP 14 games see Aviron Bayonnais host last season’s EPCR Challenge Cup winners Lyon, USAP visit Stade Toulousain, CA Brive travel to Union Bordeaux-Bègles and Stade Français Paris entertain Stade Rochelais.
On Sunday, EPCR Challenge Cup teams Emirates Lions and Scarlets go head-to-head in the URC. The second-row pairing of Vaea Fifita and Sam Lousi is reinstated for the visitors.
Meanwhile, in the TOP 14, Section Paloise are away at Castres Olympique and RC Toulon welcome Racing 92.