Northampton will face a tricky challenge when they return to European competition in the European Challenge Cup in October.
The National Division One champions are grouped with fellow English club club Bristol in Group Two, along with Montpellier and another side recently promoted from their domestic second tier, Toulon.
Toulon, who have signed former All Black Jerry Collins amongst other big names, are back in Top 14 and compete in Europe for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
Group One sees European Cup semi-finalists London Irish play Connacht, Rovigo and Dax or Albi.
Defeated finalists Worcester Warriors resume against Bourgoin, Petrarca and Romanian club Bucaresti Oaks.
Newcastle Falcons and Brive continue their European Challenge Cup rivalry.
The Falcons are 5-1 ahead in those meetings, including wins on French soil at the home of the 1997 Heineken Cup champions in the last four seasons.
Newcastle and Brive will contest Pool Four along with Overmach Rugby Parma and Cetransa El Salvador.
Pool Five consists of Saracens, Viadana, Bayonne and Stade Montois.
The draw was conducted using the new ERC European Ranking system based on the qualified teams' performances and participation in the Heineken Cup and knock-out stages of the European Challenge Cup over the past four seasons.
European Challenge Cup Pools 2008 / 2009
POOL 1: London Irish, Connacht Rugby, Dax*/Albi*, Rugby Rovigo
POOL 2: Northampton Saints, Bristol Rugby, Montpellier, Toulon
POOL 3: Bourgoin, Worcester Warriors, Petrarca Rugby, Bucuresti Oaks
POOL 4: Newcastle Falcons, Brive, Overmach Rugby Parma, Cetransa El Salvador
POOL 5: Saracens, Viadana, Bayonne, Stade Montois Rugby
*The participation of Dax*/ Albi* is subject to confirmation from the LNR & FFR.
European Challenge Cup 2008 / 2009 Tiers
Tier 1: Saracens, London Irish, Northampton Saints, Newcastle Falcons, Bourgoin
Tier 2: Worcester Warriors, Brive, Bristol Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Viadana
Tier 3: Montpellier, Overmach Parma, Bayonne, Dax*/Albi*, Petrarca Rugby
Tier 4: Rugby Rovigo, Toulon, Stade Montois Rugby, Bucuresti Oaks, Cetransa El Salvador
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.