Newport Gwent Dragons Secure 4th Heineken Cup Spot for Wales
7 May 2008 11:58am
By Angelina Lacroix
Newport Gwent Dragons have secured the 24th spot in next season's Heineken Cup with a victory over neighbours the Ospreys on Tuesday evening.
It was the first win for the Dragons since Friday, 4 January but their 18 points to 10 win over the Ospreys at Rodney Parade means there will be four Welsh regions in next season's Heineken Cup.
Dragons are now out of Connacht's reach at the bottom of the Magners League table as both sides had been fighting to make the play-off match between the highest non-qualified Magners League team and the third placed Italian Super 10 club for the 24th spot in Europe's premier tournament. But following confirmation yesterday that the Italians will not be putting a team forward for the play-off, last night's win for the Welsh region means they will automatically return to Europe's top table for another season.
Each season Wales automatically have three teams in the Heineken Cup and along with Ireland, could potentially earn a fourth though the annual 24th place play-off match. Dragons qualified for the Heineken Cup this season by defeating Calvisano in the play-off, while the previous season they were relegated to the European Challenge Cup when they lost to Parma in the one off match.