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Blues to face Exiles and Grenoble in Europe

10th June 2014

Cardiff Blues will face London Irish, Grenoble and a FIRA-AER 1 qualifier in the 2014/15 European Rugby Challenge Cup after the pool draw took place this afternoon in Neuchatel, Switzerland.

The European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) event, that saw Blues as one of three top seeds with four tiers and five pools, was conducted at the Stade de la Maladière and broadcast across Europe.

Blues were drawn against Aviva Premiership side London Irish in Europe and so will head over the bridge and down the M4to the Madejski Stadium in Reading. Irish, coached by Brian Smith, finished tenth last season in the English top-flight and star players include summer recruits Tom Court and Luke Narraway.

Grenoble finished 11th in the Top 14 last season, having won the second tier PRO D2 in 2012. French Premiership champions in 1954, they play at the 12,000 capacity Stade Lesdiguieres and notable players include summer signings Julien Brugnaut and Jonathan Wisniewski.

The FIRA-AER 1 team will be decided later this summer following a qualification tournament.

2014/15 European Rugby Challenge Cup

Pool 1: Cardiff Blues, London Irish, Grenoble, FIRA-AER 1
Pool 2: Exeter Chiefs, Bayonne, Connacht Rugby, La Rochelle
Pool 3: Stade Francais Paris, NG Dragons, Newcastle Falcons, FIRA-AER 2
Pool 4: Edinburgh Rugby, Bordeaux-Begles, London Welsh, Lyon
Pool 5: Gloucester Rugby, Brive, Zebre, Oyonnax

Pool stage dates

Round 1: 16/17/18/19 October 2014
Round 2: 23/24/25/26 October 2014
Round 3: 4/5/6/7 December 2014
Round 4: 11/12/13/14 December 2014
Round 5: 15/16/17/18 January 2015
Round 6: 22/23/24/25 January 2015