The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) took place on Tuesday
Cardiff Blues will face London Irish, Grenoble and a FIRA-AER 1 qualifier in the 2014/15 European Rugby Challenge Cup after the pool draw took place this afternoon in Neuchatel, Switzerland.
The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) event, that saw Blues as one of three top seeds with four tiers and five pools, was conducted at the Stade de la Maladière and broadcast across Europe.
Blues were drawn against Aviva Premiership side London Irish in Europe and so will head over the bridge and down the M4to the Madejski Stadium in Reading. Irish, coached by Brian Smith, finished tenth last season in the English top-flight and star players include summer recruits Tom Court and Luke Narraway.
Grenoble finished 11th in the Top 14 last season, having won the second tier PRO D2 in 2012. French Premiership champions in 1954, they play at the 12,000 capacity Stade Lesdiguieres and notable players include summer signings Julien Brugnaut and Jonathan Wisniewski.
The FIRA-AER 1 team will be decided later this summer following a qualification tournament.
2014/15 European Rugby Challenge Cup
Pool 1: Cardiff Blues, London Irish, Grenoble, FIRA-AER 1 Pool 2: Exeter Chiefs, Bayonne, Connacht Rugby, La Rochelle Pool 3: Stade Francais Paris, NG Dragons, Newcastle Falcons, FIRA-AER 2 Pool 4: Edinburgh Rugby, Bordeaux-Begles, London Welsh, Lyon Pool 5: Gloucester Rugby, Brive, Zebre, Oyonnax
Pool stage dates
Round 1: 16/17/18/19 October 2014
Round 2: 23/24/25/26 October 2014
Round 3: 4/5/6/7 December 2014
Round 4: 11/12/13/14 December 2014
Round 5: 15/16/17/18 January 2015
Round 6: 22/23/24/25 January 2015
Cardiff Blues travel to Myreside on Friday to take on Edinburgh Rugby in a crucial Guinness PRO12 clash, and with Wales facing Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, it promises to be a weekend of non-stop rugby action at the Scottish capital. Here are some useful advice to Cardiff Blues travelling supporters.
To celebrate the opening of the newly refurbished Guinness PRO12 Pack Bar, the world famous Irish brewer will be offering supporters free pints of the black stuff ahead of Saturday's clash with Ulster.
'TACKLE' - the first-ever joint community rugby initiative between the four professional teams in Wales has been launched (today Weds 19th October) bringing an inspiring new rugby education programme to young people in Communities First areas. Partners in the project were joined by Wales' star rugby internationals Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets) and Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), for the launch at Aberdare Community School.
The Welsh Rugby Union, together with Pro Rugby Wales, has secured significantly improved insurance cover for all registered players, coaches and referees at each of its member clubs and regions at reduced costs -working with Aon, one of the world's largest insurance brokers and risk advisors.