Following the advent of regional rugby during the summer 2003 the Blues first game was against Leicester at Cardiff Arms Park, with the Tigers winning 23-22 to claim the bmibaby Trophy. The Blues came up against a streetwise Tigers outfit in another pre-season friendly, this time at Welford Road in August 2004, losing 13-31.
Commenting on the draw, Director of Coaching David Young said,
"The Heineken Cup games are always a massive challenge and I think it's fair to say you never get an easy group but some years you do get easier groups.
"This pool will be a huge challenge for us with Leicester winning the Heineken Cup in 2001 and 2002. We also have the current champions Munster and Bourgoin will be a hard team to beat too.
"Although the games will be challenging I'm excited about them and we should look forward to them rather than shying away from them. I doubt if anyone gives us much chance to qualify from the group stage so it would be really nice to shock people."
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Pool One: Treviso, Perpignan, Wasps, Castres
Pool Two: Edinburgh, Agen, Gloucester, Leinster
Pool Three: Sale, Stade Francais, Calvisano, Ospreys
Pool Four: Cardiff, Bourgoin, Leicester, Munster
Pool Five: Ulster, Toulouse, London Irish, Llanelli
Pool Six: Biarritz, Northampton, Parma, Border Reivers
Heineken Cup schedule:
Round One: 20-22 October
Round Two: 27-29 October
Round Three: 8-10 December
Round Four: 15-17 December
Round Five: 12-14 January
Round Six: 19-21 January
Quarter-finals: 30 March-1 April
Semi-finals: 21-22 April
Final: 19/20 May (Twickenham)