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Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 18:36 UK

English clubs learn European foes

Exeter will face French clubs Bourgoin and Montpellier and Premiership rivals Newcastle when they make their European bow in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Gloucester also have two French sides in their pool - Agen and La Rochelle.

Leeds face Stade Francais, Rugby Parma and Romanian minnows Bucuresti, while Sale take on Brive, Italians Petrarca and Spanish side Cetransa el Salvador.

Harlequins tackle Irish province Connacht, French side Bayonne and Italians Cavalieri Prato in their pool.

The draw was conducted using the merit-based ERC European ranking system compiled on the qualified teams' performances over the past four seasons in the Heineken Cup and Challenge Cup knock-out stages.

This year's winners Cardiff Blues have qualified for the Heineken Cup along with beaten finalists Toulon.


Pool One: Harlequins, Connacht Rugby, Bayonne, Cavalieri Prato

Pool Two: Sale Sharks, Brive, Petrarca Rugby, Cetransa El Salvador

Pool Three: Bourgoin, Newcastle Falcons, Montpellier, Exeter Chiefs

Pool Four: Stade Francais Paris, Rugby Parma, Leeds Carnegie, Bucuresti Oaks

Pool Five: Gloucester Rugby, Agen, Rugby Rovigo, La Rochelle


Fixtures dates:

Round One: 7/8/9/10 October, 2010

Round Two: 14/15/16/17 October, 2010

Round Three: 9/10/11/12 December, 2010

Round Four: 16/17/18/19 December, 2010

Round Five: 13/14/15/16 January, 2011

Round Six: 20/21/22/23 January, 2011

Quarter-finals: 8/9/10 April, 2011

Semi-finals: 30 April/1 May, 2011

Amlin Challenge Cup Final: 20/21/22 May, 2011



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