Two sides who had hoped for Heineken Champions Cup glory this season must battle it out in the European Rugby Challenge Cup Round of 16 instead.
Harlequins and Ulster both failed to progress in Europe’s premier club competition, but will relish the opportunity to lift European silverware in the form of the Challenge Cup.
Defeats to Munster Rugby (21-7) and Racing 92 (49-7) for the Gallagher Premiership side were matched in the Pool stage by Ulster who suffered close reverses at the hands of Toulouse (22-29) and Gloucester Rugby (34-38).
Redemption is the focus for both sides at The Stoop as the Round of 16 action comes to a close. Kick-off is at 20:00 (British and Irish time) and is live on BT Sport.
Harlequins: 11th in Heineken Champions Cup Pool B (0 points)
Ulster Rugby: 9th in Heineken Champions Cup Pool B (3 points)
Harlequins wins: 2
Ulster Rugby wins: 5
Leading 2020/21 points-scorers:
Harlequins: Scott Steel, Cadan Murley (5)
Ulster Rugby: John Cooney (24)
HERE WE GOOOOOOOO 💪
The bank holiday weekend is upon us and we’ve got 8 mouth-watering #ChallengeCupRugby clashes to come 🤩
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) April 2, 2021
- Harlequins and Ulster have faced each other seven times in European competition, all of those meetings coming in the Heineken Champions Cup, with Harlequins winning their first two encounters before the Irish province claimed victories in the following five.
- Harlequins have lost only one of their last five games in the Challenge Cup (W4) but it was the most recent one, in the 2018/19 semi-final against Clermont Auvergne (27-32).
- Harlequins have won 15 of their last 16 home games in the Challenge Cup (L1) including the last three; they have won all three of their home games played against a team from Ireland in the competition, all against Connacht.
- Ulster will play their first ever game in the Challenge Cup, after 157 games played in the Heineken Champions Cup; they lost their last three away games in the Heineken Champions Cup after winning four of the previous five (L1).
- Ulster have won nine of their last 11 European fixtures against Premiership opponents (L2), however one of their two defeats in that run came in their most recent such match (v Gloucester).
- Harlequins are three-time winners of the Challenge Cup, only Clermont (also 3) have won the competition as often, their last triumph coming in 2010/11.
- Harlequins made more infringements (32 – penalties and free-kicks) than any other side in the Heineken Champions Cup this season, as well being shown more yellow cards (4) than any other side.