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
Thank Blues it's Friday! The weekend will be starting HERE on Friday night as Cardiff Blues tackle Ulster in the Guinness PRO12 at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park - and we want you to be our guest at our big match day party!
Let the Games Begin! Cardiff Blues launch the Guinness PRO12 season on home soil this Sunday afternoon against Glasgow Warriors (kick-off 4pm) - and we are going to make it a double celebration as we also recognise the achievements of Team Wales!
First team aces Cory Allen, Lloyd Williams, Ellis Jenkins and new signing Jarrad Hoeata were all on hand to watch the next generation of stars when Cardiff Blues held a huge Under-8s Tag Rugby tournament at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
Clinical Glasgow Warriors produced a devastating final 20 minutes to secure the points on Super Sunday and consign battling Cardiff Blues to a 33-12 defeat in the Guinness PRO12 opener at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
Impressive Cardiff Blues pushed English powerhouse side Leicester Tigers all the way with an hugely encouraging performance as final preparations for the new Guinness PRO12 season continued at Welford Road.