Leicester Tigers have been drawn in a pool with Cardiff Blues, Pau and Calvisano in next season’s European Challenge Cup.
In the Challenge Cup for the first time in the club’s history, Tigers were drawn into the second tier of teams as the draw took place in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
Cardiff Blues were the top seeds in Pool Five before being joined by Tigers, then French outfit Pau and finally the Italian club Calvisano.
The Blues were Challenge Cup winners in 2010 and 2018, and finished fifth in their PRO14 conference in the season just ended.
Pau, who hosted Leicester in the 1996/97 and 2000/01 campaigns, were Challenge Cup winners in 2000, runners-up in 2005 and semi-finalists in 2017/18.
Calvisano, meanwhile, are well known to Tigers after meeting six times in the Champions Cup. They beat fellow Italian side Rovigo in the Continental Shield play-offs to qualify for the Challenge Cup for a sixth time.
Fixtures are expected to be announced in August following consultation between tournament organisers EPCR, their broadcast partners and the clubs, with the first round of competition scheduled for the weekend of November 15/16/17.
Challenge Cup 2019/20
Pool 1: Castres Olympique, Worcester Warriors, Dragons, Enisei
Pool 2: Scarlets, Toulon, London Irish, Bayonne
Pool 3: Wasps, Edinburgh, Bordeaux-Begles, Agen
Pool 4: Stade Francais, Bristol Bears, Zebre, Brive
Pool 5: Cardiff Blues, Leicester Tigers, Pau, Rugby Calvisano
Challenge Cup draw key principles:
- Each of the five pools will include one club from each of the four tiers
- Each pool will have at least one club from the TOP14, the Premiership and the PRO14
- There will be no more than two clubs from the same league in a pool
- No pool will contain two PRO14 clubs from the same country
- Clubs from the same league will be kept apart until the Tier 4 allocation
- A qualifier from the Continental Shield cannot be drawn into a pool which contains two TOP14 clubs or two Premiership clubs, and for the purposes of this draw Rugby Calvisano cannot be drawn in to the same pool as Zebre Rugby Club.
Entry to all home games in the pool stages of European competitions is included in Tigers season tickets alongside 11 Gallagher Premiership league games and two home games in the Premiership Rugby Cup at the start of the new season.
EPCR weekends 2019/20
Round 1: November 15/16/17
Round 2: November 22/23/24
Round 3: December 6/7/8
Round 4: December 13/14/15
Round 5: January 10/11/12
Round 6: January 17/18/19
Quarter-finals: April 3/4/5
Semi-finals: May 1/2/3
Finals (Stade de Marseille): Challenge Cup – Friday, May 22; Heineken Champions Cup – Saturday, May 23
Heineken Champions Cup
Pool 1: Leinster Rugby, Lyon, Northampton Saints, Benetton Rugby
Pool 2: Exeter Chiefs, Glasgow Warriors, La Rochelle, Sale Sharks
Pool 3: ASM Clermont Auvergne, Ulster Rugby, Harlequins, Bath Rugby
Pool 4: Saracens, Munster Rugby, Racing 92, Ospreys
Pool 5: Toulouse, Gloucester Rugby, Connacht Rugby, Montpellier