European champions Leinster will launch the defence of their Heineken Cup title in a group with London Irish, the Scarlets and Brive.
The draw for the pool stages of the 15th Heineken Cup was made in Paris today and it has thrown up some intriguing clashes.
Magners League champions Munster will clash with French champions Perpignan in Pool One, which also features a return to Heineken Cup rugby for Northampton.
Last year's beaten finalists Leicester have again been drawn to face the Ospreys while Top 14 runners-up Clermont Auvergne and Italian side Viadana complete Pool Three.
But arguably the toughest group of all is Pool Five, which features French giants Toulouse, Heineken Cup semi-finalsts Cardiff Blues, Harlequins and Sale.
Jean Pierre Lux, chairman of European Rugby Cup, said: "All the pools look balanced apart from Pool Five - that was always going to be the case because of the second English team."
The Guinness Premiership has provided seven teams for the 2009-2010 Heineken Cup including two of the six top seeds in Leicester and Bath, who are in Pool Four with Stade Francais, Ulster and Edinburgh.
Biarritz-bound full-back Iain Balshaw will lock horns with his former employees at Gloucester plus the Newport Gwent Dragons and Glasgow in Pool Two.
Robin McBryde was assistant coach with Wales during the Championship
27 March 2017, 11:19am
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