The draws for the Challenge Cup and Champions Cup took place this afternoon in Switzerland and now the provinces know how who they will have to navigate to get to the finals that will take place in Lyon on Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th of May 2016.
The EPCR have also announced that Edinburgh and Murrayfield will also host the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals in 2017.
Both the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup will not begin until November after the Rugby World Cup that ends on October 31st.
Champions Cup - Munster, Ulster and Leinster
Leinster have found themselves in the pool of death after being drawn in the same pool as champions Toulon, Aviva Premiership finalist Bath and Wasps. Leinster did battle with each of their three opponents last year, meeting Wasps in the pool stage, before beating Bath narrowly in the quarter finals and that losing to Toulon in extra time.
4/8 of last years 1/4 finalists in pool 5 inc @WaspsRugby #poolofdeath #championscup #coyw
— Chris Parrott 🇺🇦 (@cparrott07) June 17, 2015
Alternatively, Munster will be thrilled with their group. After being drawn as second seeds, that seemed to work out for them as they were drawn against probably the weakest team in Tier 1 - Stade Francais, and in Tier 4 - Treviso. They will fancy their chances of qualifying from their pool that also features the mighty pedigree of Leicester
Ulster should also feel confident of their chances of qualifying from their group that features Premiership champions Saracens, fading European giants Toulouse and French newcomers Oyonnax.
Challenge Cup - Connacht
Connacht as the top seeds managed to avoid both Gloucester and Harlequins in the Challenge Cup. They still have tricky ties against Brive and Newcastle Falcons to navigate, which will depend on how much Brive will take the competition seriously.
Connacht also face an away trip to Siberia to play Enisei STM. the Russian side take regular trips to Galway for friendlies against the Connacht Eagles and the two teams will have a good relationship.
To emphasise how far away it is:
The 7,000km plus trip that Connacht will have to make to Enisei STM is the same as the distance to Cape Town or Buenos Aires #ChallengeCup
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) June 17, 2015
Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE