The chairman of the European Rugby Cup, Jean-Pierre Lux has just made the draw for the group stages of next season’s Heineken Cup.
Last year’s champions, Wasps, seem to have drawn the hardest group in which they will compete against Munster and Llanelli Scarlets. Runners-up Leicester will also have a challenge to qualify for the knockout stages as they face Leinster, Toulouse and Edinburgh.
London Irish seems to have the best draw of the English sides – they will be up against Perpignan, Treviso and Newport Gwent Dragons.
Having said that, there are no easy groups in this competition, and the standard of rugby seems to improve year after year, with many fixtures looking like Test match rugby. The first round of fixtures will take place from 9th to 11th November.
Heineken Cup draw for 2007/08 season:
Pool 1: Benetton Treviso, London Irish, Perpignan, Newport Gwent Dragons
Pool 2: Ospreys, Gloucester Rugby, Bourgoin, Ulster Rugby
Pool 3: Stade Francais Paris, Bristol Rugby, Cardiff Blues, Harlequins
Pool 4: Glasgow Warriors, Saracens, Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque, Viadana
Pool 5: London Wasps, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Llanelli Scarlets, Munster
Pool 6: Leinster, Leicester Tigers, Toulouse, Edinburgh Rugby