We thought we’d give you a quick update on what Ulster A need to do this weekend to ensure a home quarter-final fixture in the British and Irish Cup knockout stages. 

As they stand Ulster A sit on top of Pool 1, one point clear of this weekend’s opponents Jersey Reds. If Ulster A wins the game on Saturday they go through, most likely as third seeds, with a home quarter-final. 

Ulster A 5 4 0 1 132 98 34 2 1 19
Jersey Reds 5 4 0 1 155 73 82 2 0 18
London Scottish 5 2 0 3 113 133 -20 2 1 11
Cardiff Blues Premiership Select 5 0 0 5 80 176 -96 0 3 3


However, should Ulster A lose or draw this British and Irish Cup fixture then a whole raft of other possibilities open up. 

At the start of this weekend, the Qualifying teams across the five pools are as follows. 

Seed Pool Winners Pts Wins Pts diff
1 London Irish 24 5 61
2 Ealing Trailfinders 22 4 71
3 Munster A 19 4 66
4 Ulster A 19 4 34
5 Scarlets Premiership Select 17 3 39
Seed Pool Runners–up Pts Wins Pts diff
6 Jersey Reds 18 4 82
7 Yorkshire Carnegie 16 3 26
8 Cornish Pirates 15 3 63
9 Nottingham Rugby 15 3 22
10 Rotherham Titans 4 1 -25


If Ulster A finish on 19 points they will still qualify if either Cornish Pirates, Nottingham Rugby or Yorkshire Carnegie lose. Ulster A, however, will have to travel for the quarter-final-final. 

If Ulster gets a bonus point of any description and finish on 20 points they will need Yorkshire Carnegie to fail to pick up a bonus point and not improve the points difference between themselves and Ulster A by more than 7 points or either Cornish Pirates or Nottingham Rugby fail to secure a bonus point win. Ulster A will, however, travel for the quarter-final. 

If Ulster A get a draw and neither side gets a try bonus point then Ulster A go through as pool leaders on 21 points as one of the top four seeds. They will have secured a home quarter-final. If Jersey Reds secure a try bonus point in a draw they will go through as pool winners and Ulster will face an away quarter-final. 

If Ulster draws and gets a try bonus point, to give them 22 points, they will go through as Pool winners and will secure a home quarter-final. 

The key fixtures. 

All of the British and Irish Cup fixtures kick off at 2:00 pm on Saturday 21st, the key fixtures are as follows.

Pool 1: Jersey Reds v Ulster A

Pool 3: Cornish Pirates v Connacht Eagles

Pool 4: Scarlets Premier Select v Nottingham Rugby

Pool 5: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ealing Trailfinders. 

Note: Due to London Welsh going into administration there is only one fixture in Pool 2, and neither side involved can qualify. Munster have already qualified as pool winners on 19 points. 

British and Irish Cup Qualification Criteria.

The eight qualifiers in the British and Irish Cup are seeded according to performance in the pool stage, and competed in the quarter-finals. The four top seeds host the quarter-finals against the lower seeds, in a 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6 and 4 v 5 format.

However, if two teams have qualified from the same group then they cannot be drawn together despite the seeding. Quarter-finals will be held over the weekend of 10/11/12 March 2017, semi-finals will be held over the weekend of 31 March and 1 & 2 April 2017 and the final will be held on 22 April 2017.

Teams are ranked by:
1 – competition points (4 for a win, 2 for a draw)
2 – where competition points are equal, greatest number of wins
3 – where the number of wins are equal, aggregate points difference
4 – where the aggregate points difference are equal, greatest number of points scored