European Rugby Challenge Cup draw announced
June 10, 2014
© Getty Images
The draw has been made for the second-tier European Rugby Challenge Cup, with newly-promoted Premiership club London Welsh grouped alongside Edinburgh, Bordeaux-Begles and Lyon.
London Irish, meanwhile, must get past Cardiff Blues and Grenoble, with Exeter facing Bayonne, among others, Newcastle meeting Stade Francais and Gloucester drawn alongside French pair Brive and Oyonnax.
The European Rugby Challenge Cup succeeds the Amlin Cup, which ended in Cardiff 18 days ago.
After almost two years of negotiations, a new competition was forged in April comprising nine stakeholders - the six unions of competing teams, plus Premiership Rugby, France's Ligue Nationale de Rugby and Regional Rugby Wales - in addition to the Challenge Cup and a third qualifying tournament.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
"The thirst for knowledge has seen coaches break away from the confines of rugby and look to America." Tom Hamilton on the two-way learning process
On Saturday, New Zealand face the USA in a match that has been 40 years in the making. Tom Hamilton finds the atmosphere building in Chicago
Most modern rugby players will not know the name Ray Williams but they should be eternally grateful to him, writes John Taylor
With the All Blacks playing the USA Eagles this weekend, Craig Dowd says rugby is ready to make a professional breakthrough Stateside