Clubs discover Euro Challenge Cup fate
June 15, 2009
Northampton skipper Bruce Reihana lifts the European Challenge Cup following his side's victory over Brive in the 2008-09 finale © Getty Images
The battle lines for the 2009-10 European Challenge Cup have been confirmed with the draw for the pool stages.
London Wasps - former winners of both the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup - will face Rugby Calvisano, Bayonne and Top 14 newcomers Racing-Metro 92 in the Pool 4 while Saracens must face Jonny Wilkinson's Toulon along with Castres and Rovigo in Pool 3.
Worcester Warriors, semi-finalists in last season's competition, must tackle Connacht, Montpellier and Olympus Rugby XV Madrid in Pool 2. Pool 5 sees Newcastle Falcons up against Montauban, Petrarca Rugby and Albi.
Premiership new boys Leeds Carnegie face trips to Bourgoin, Overmach Rugby Parma and Bucuresti Oaks in Pool 1.
The five Tier 1 teams - London Wasps, Saracens, Bourgoin, Newcastle Falcons and Worcester Warriors - were kept apart in separate Pools with only French clubs drawn in the same Pools as they will have eight teams taking part in the competition.
The competition will kick off on the weekend of October 8/9/10/11.
European Challenge Cup:
European Challenge Cup Tiers:
European Challenge Cup Fixtures:
Quarter-Finals - 8/9/10/11 April, 2010
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds