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
Existing Season Ticket holders are advised that full details of all packages for the 2015/16 season have now been posted out to you and will arrive in the coming days - and that the deadline to renew your seat has now been extended!
Supporters are advised that Cardiff Blues will be holding a presentation on the field post match on Saturday afternoon to mark those players leaving the region, hand out caps and the end of season awards.
First team stars Cory Allen, Ellis Jenkins, Adam Jones and Kristian Dacey were among the special guests as Cardiff Blues held the Sphere Solutions Blues Tag Rugby Festival at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
The players at Cardiff Blues will be hoping to play with some true Gallic flair for the rest of the Guinness PRO12 season - after the region teamed up with a successful French bistrot in the Welsh capital.
Cardiff Blues will be celebrating St David's Day when the region faces Edinburgh Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 12.45pm) - with hundreds of children invited as part of our Regional Schools Day.