The draw for the inaugural European Rugby Challenge Cup has been made in Switzerland, with Cardiff Blues and London Irish being pooled together.
Grenoble and a FIRA-AER qualifier complete that group while the other tough pool sees Edinburgh, Bordeaux, London Welsh and Lyon colliding.
LV= Cup winners Exeter Chiefs will face stiff opposition from Top 14 outfit Bayonne, but will be early favourites to top Pool 2 with Connacht and La Rochelle unlikely to spring many surprises.
Stade Francais too look strong enough to see off the respective challenges of the Dragons, Newcastle Falcons and another FIRA-AER qualifier, while Gloucester have been grouped with hard-to-beat Top 14 pair Brive and Oyonnax, as well as the ever-improving Zebre.
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Pool 1: Cardiff Blues, London Irish, Grenoble, FIRA-AER
Pool 2: Exeter Chiefs, Bayonne, Connacht, La Rochelle
Pool 3: Stade Francais, Dragons, Newcastle Falcons, FIRA-AER
Pool 4: Edinburgh, Bordeaux Begles, London Welsh, Lyon
Pool 5: Gloucester, Brive, Zebre, Oyonnax