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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2006, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Townsend relishing Euro adventure
Townsend has European experience with Castres
Townsend has European experience with Castres
Border Reivers stand-off Gregor Townsend believes the Heineken Cup will provide his team-mates with invaluable experience this season.

The Reivers have been drawn with last year's Heineken Cup finalists Biarritz, English Premiership side Northampton Saints and Italian qualifiers Parma.

It will be the first time the club have played in the tournament.

"We have built up respect in the Celtic League and our target must be to gain respect in the Heineken Cup," he said.

"When I played in the Heineken Cup with Castres, the team learned so much by playing against the mixture of different nationalities.

"If we can get some wins, especially at home, in the Heineken Cup then that would really transform the club and our supporters would be an integral part of that success.

"Northampton and Biarritz will look confidently at our group, but teams like ourselves and Parma will be trying to give these bigger teams a real surprise."

Edinburgh Gunners have been handed a reasonable draw, alongside Gloucester, Leinster and Agen, in comparison with recent years.

Nonetheless, lock Scott Murray believes the opposition will provide a stiff test.

"Gloucester were on fire last year. They're always pretty big up front but watching their games, they have good backs too so they'll get the ball and ship it out to them," he said.

"The good thing about Leinster is we've played them loads of times in the Celtic League but we also know how hard they'll be.

"Agen are one of the top French clubs but are perhaps not as good as some of the others and it makes a nice change not to be in a pool with Toulouse!

"We have to build on what we did last season and we have to believe we can beat all three clubs. We must win all our home games and pinch at least one away to have a chance of getting into the knock-out stages of the cup."

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