THE Dragons’ bid for glory in the knockout stages of the European Challenge Cup must wait after tournament chiefs decided to suspend the semi-finals and final.

The quarter-final clash with Bristol at Ashton Gate, scheduled for next weekend, had already been pushed back because of the coronavirus crisis.

Now the board of European Professional Club Rugby have postponed the last-four ties in both the Champions and Challenge Cups on the first weekend of May along with the finals in Marseille on May 22 and 23.

Euro bosses insist that they will find a way of completing the tournaments when rugby starts up again.

Campaign Series:

“In light of the earlier postponement of its quarter-final matches and with fixtures in Europe’s professional league competitions currently suspended due to the public health crisis, EPCR believes it necessary to provide as much clarity as possible to all stakeholders regarding the knockout stages of its tournaments,” read a statement.

“To that end, EPCR is working with the leagues and unions to restructure a conclusion to its season as part of a wider rescheduling of the remainder of the season in Europe, with all contingencies underpinned by the requirement to protect the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community.

“EPCR remains committed to completing the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup season, and it is planned to reschedule the quarter-final and semi-final matches, as well as the Marseille finals, in line with fixtures in the professional league competitions, subject to advice from government and local authorities.”

Tickets for the Marseille finals will be valid when the new dates are announced while supporters who can no longer make it will be entitled to a refund.

The Dragons earned a place in the knockout stages for the fourth time after finishing as runners-up being Castres in Pool One.

Dean Ryan’s men will be protecting a 100 per cent record in the quarter-finals after previously beating Brive, Cardiff Blues and Gloucester, although they will be big underdogs in Bristol.

The Dragons have never made the final of the Challenge Cup after being beaten away at Clermont Auvergne, Edinburgh and Montpellier.

All professional leagues are currently suspended while the Welsh Rugby Union have cancelled the 2019/20 season.