European Challenge Cup Final
The European Challenge Cup in rugby union, known as the Parker Pen Shield from 2001 to 2003 and Parker Pen Challenge Cup from 2003, is the sister competition to the Heineken Cup. It is competed for by teams from England, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Romania on a knock-out basis. The current holders are English club Gloucester, who defeated London Irish 36-34 in 2006.
England, France, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland set their own criteria for qualification for the Heineken Cup. All the clubs that do not qualify for the Heineken Cup enter the European Challenge Cup. Wales have not always had a team in the competition due to complexities arising from club mergers. Italy enters 4 clubs: those finishing 3rd and 4th in the Super 10, and the winners of playoffs between 5th and 8th, and 6th and 7th. Romania does not enter the Heineken Cup and their strongest team goes straight into the European Challenge Cup.