Connacht's chances of securing a home round-of-16 game in the European Challenge Cup have been boosted after Bristol were docked five points and handed a suspended fine after selecting an ineligible player earlier in the competition.

The Bears were charged with misconduct by tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby after picking lock Elliott Stooke as a replacement in their matchday squads for their Round 1 and 2 games against Perpignan and Zebre Parma.

An independent disciplinary committee heard submissions from senior Bristol officials, with the club accepting they had breached tournament rules.

The points deduction drops Bristol to fifth in Pool A with Connacht now only needing a losing bonus point away to Newcastle in order to finish inside the top four to have home advantage in the last 16.

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