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
Season Ticket holders at Cardiff Blues are reminded that they gain FREE entry to the British & Irish Cup pool fixtures this season - starting with Saturday's home fixture against Nottingham Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park (kick-off 2.30pm).
Teenage Cancer Trust will be collecting for valuable funds at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday afternoon ahead of our British & Irish Cup fixture with Nottingham Rugby (kick-off 2.30pm). Ahead of the game, we take a closer look at the charity and discover how they are making a difference...
Cardiff Blues suffered a first defeat of the season in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as a second half burst of tries from Harlequins saw the English side claim victory at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.