Cardiff's Xavier Rush holds aloft the European Challenge Cup, Cardiff Blues v Toulon, European Challenge Cup, Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France, May 23, 2010 © Getty Images
Established in 1996, the tournament sees 20 teams compete in five pools on a round robin basis with the pool winners progressing to the quarter-finals. They are joined there by the three pool runners-up who did not qualify for the last eight of the Heineken Cup. The winners then go on to contest the semi-finals and the final with the latter staged on a neutral ground.
The competition has been dominated by English and French sides with Clermont Auvergne, Sale Sharks and Harlequins all having won the title on two occasions.