"I think we face a variety of opponents, some of which are new to us, and that will only add to the excitement."
Gloucester have never faced Biarritz in the Heineken Cup but have met the Arms Park outfit, in both Cardiff Blues and RFC guise, three times - once at the quarter-final stage in 2000-01 when they won 21-15 at Kingsholm and then again home and away in the pool stages in 2004-05. Both games in the pool stages were very close, although ending in favour of the Cherry & Whites.
"There is obvious spice with an Anglo-welsh contest against Cardiff," Ryan said. "They are always unique occasions; they are a fantastic side who also have a real passion and understanding about this competition and I am sure the Heineken Cup will bring the best out of both teams.
"Both games will generate huge interest from the supporters, the rivalry is fierce and I think it will be a great advert for the competition.
"Biarritz are a hugely powerful and organised side, have a history in the competition that would be the envy of a lot of clubs and contested a final only three seasons ago. Their threat, particularly at home, is an obvious one.
"They have a tremendous pedigree and their home record is as good as anything in the competition. It will be a huge examination for us but one we will relish as we develop as a side.
"We have not faced an Italian side since we played Treviso in the pool stages in 2003-04 but Italian rugby is improving all the time, they are massively competitive at home and will relish the opportunity to take us on."
Marcel Martin - President of Biarritz Olymique said,
"It's a very difficult Pool, but at least we can say that ASM Clermont Auvergne have a much more difficult task than us. Gloucester are one of the best teams in England and reached the semi-finals of the Guinness Premiership. As for Cardiff Blues, there is no need to emphasis the fact they are a good team because they were in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup last season and have many Welsh international players.
"We know our bearings at Cardiff Arms Park and also in Calvisano, where we have played before. It is the fifth season in a row we have had an Italian team in our Pool and each time they get better. We have a lot of respect for them."