The dates and kick-off times for Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2011/12 Amlin Challenge Cup were announced today (Wednesday, 21 December) by ERC, and Exeter Chiefs, who are engaged in an intriguing battle at the top of Pool 4 with Perpignan, will look to continue their push for qualification for the last eight when they travel to I Cavalieri Prato in Round 5 before what could be a winner-takes-all confrontation at Sandy Park with the Catalans in Round 6 on Saturday, 21 January.
Pool 1 also looks likely to go down to the wire with the two current front runners, Stade Francais Paris and Worcester Warriors, meeting in Round 6 at Stade Charlety on Saturday, 21 January.
It also remains tight at the top of Pool 2 with just two points separating 2010 beaten finalists, Toulon, and Newcastle Falcons, while in Pool 5, Sale Sharks and Brive appear to be on course for another winner-takes-all clash at Edgeley Park in Round 6 on Thursday, 19 January.
The five pool winners will qualify automatically for the quarter-finals where they will be joined by three qualifiers from the Heineken Cup.
(All kick-offs local time)
THURSDAY, 12 JANUARY 2012
Pool 3 Bordeaux-Begles v Bayonne 20.15 Eurosport France
FRIDAY, 13 JANUARY 2012
Pool 5 Brive v Agen 20.00
SATURDAY, 14 JANUARY 2012
Pool 1 Bucharest Wolves v Stade Francais Paris 14.00
Pool 4 I Cavalieri Prato v Exeter Chiefs 14.30
Pool 1 Worcester Warriors v Banca Monte Crociati 15.00
Pool 3 Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo v London Wasps 15.00
Pool 5 RC La Vila v Sale Sharks 16.00
Pool 4 Perpignan v Newport Gwent Dragons 20.55 FR4
SUNDAY, 15 JANUARY 2012
Pool 2 Newcastle Falcons v Petrarca Rugby 15.30
Pool 2 Toulon v Lyon Rugby 18.30 Eurosport France
THURSDAY, 19 JANUARY 2012
Pool 5 Sale Sharks Brive 19.45 Sky Sports
Pool 5 Agen v RC La Vila 20.45
SATURDAY, 21 JANUARY 2012
Pool 1 Banca Monte Crociati v Bucharest Wolves 15.00
Pool 1 Stade Francais Paris v Worcester Warriors 20.45 FR4
Pool 2 Lyon Rugby v Newcastle Falcons 15.00
Pool 2 Petrarca Rugby v Toulon 15.00
Pool 4 Exeter Chiefs v Perpignan 15.00
Pool 4 Newport Gwent Dragons v I Cavalieri Prato 15.00
SUNDAY, 22 JANUARY 2012
Pool 3 London Wasps v Bordeaux-Begles 15.00
Pool 3 Bayonne v Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo 16.00