Ospreys to launch EDF Energy Cup defence against Harlequin

The Ospreys will launch their defence of the EDF Energy Cup against Harlequins at the Liberty Stadium in October.

Their 23-6 victory over Leicester Tigers in April saw them become the first Welsh side to lift the Anglo-Welsh trophy.

First up for them this season in Pool C are the Quins on the weekend of October 4 – a repeat of last season’s fixture which the Welsh team won 51-16.

And with another home game against Worcester Warriors a fortnight later, the Ospreys have an ideal chance of reaching the knockout stages again.

Ospreys coach Sean Holley said: “We’re looking forward to defending the trophy and are delighted that the first game will be in front of our home crowd. Harlequins are an exciting team who had a top six finish in the Guinness Premiership last year so it promises to be a great game for all rugby supporters.

“The last two years of the EDF have been very positive experiences for both the Ospreys team and fans, especially last year where we achieved the ultimate prize, lifting the cup in front of our huge travelling support at Twickenham on one of the biggest rugby stages of them all.

“With two home matches at the start of this campaign we’ll be looking to mount another serious assault on the trophy and will be doing all we can to keep the trophy firmly where it belongs in Ospreylia.”

The EDF Energy Cup, in its fourth year, will again be contested by the 12 Guinness Premiership clubs and the four Welsh Magners League regions.

Three rounds of matches will be played in the four-team group stages at club grounds before the EDF Energy Cup semi-finals and final which will be held on the weekends of March 28 and April 18 respectively – shown live on BBC television.

The BBC will start their coverage with the visit of Guinness Premiership champions London Wasps to Gloucester Rugby in Pool A on Saturday October 4, which also sees Leicester Tigers travelling to Bath Rugby in Pool D. Northampton Saints, back in the Premiership, kick off Pool D by entertaining Bristol Rugby.

Terry Burwell, Tournament Director, said: “The EDF Energy Cup has provided some fantastic rugby over the last three years and we are anticipating more this season.

“The first weekend alone will provide some exciting match-ups – Bath against Leicester Tigers and Gloucester versus London Wasps not to mention Saracens against Scarlets and the Blues at Sale Sharks.

“There is a genuine affection for cup rugby among players and supporters, as shown by the 65,000 who turned out for last April’s final at Twickenham.

“We are continually grateful to EDF Energy, who have been fantastic supporters of this tournament and domestic rugby at all levels during the past two seasons as well as our broadcast partner, the BBC, for their continued support of cup rugby.”

EDF Energy Cup 2008/09

Pool A
Newport-Gwent Dragons
London Wasps
Gloucester Rugby
Newcastle Falcons

Pool B
Cardiff Blues
Bath Rugby
Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers

Pool C
Worcester Warriors
London Irish

Pool D
Llanelli Scarlets
Northampton Saints
Bristol Rugby

Round 1: Weekend of October 4

Pool A Gloucester Rugby v London Wasps (October 4, 2.30pm, live on BBC Network)
Pool A Dragons v Newcastle Falcons
Pool B Bath Rugby v Leicester Tigers
Pool B Sale Sharks v Blues
Pool C Ospreys v Harlequins
Pool C Worcester Warriors v London Irish
Pool D Northampton Saints v Bristol Rugby
Pool D Saracens v Scarlets

Round 2: Weekend of October 25

Pool A Newcastle Falcons v London Wasps
Pool A Gloucester Rugby v Dragons
Pool B Blues v Leicester Tigers
Pool B Sale Sharks v v Bath Rugby
Pool C Harlequins

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