Champions Cup: Ulster to face Wasps, La Rochelle and Harlequins

Stephen Ferris on the charge for Ulster against Harlequins in their Heineken Cup game at Ravenhill in 2009
Stephen Ferris on the charge for Ulster against Harlequins in their Heineken Cup game at Ravenhill in 2009

Ulster have been drawn to play Wasps, La Rochelle and Harlequins in Pool One of next season's European Champions Cup.

Wasps topped the Premiership last season, as did French side La Rochelle in the Top 14.

Leinster face English champions Exeter, Montpellier and Glasgow while Munster go up against Racing 92, Leicester and Castres.

The first round of fixtures will be staged on 13-15 October.

"It's an exciting draw and quite a formidable pool," said Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss.

"We have to front up against three very good teams although one plus is that we don't have to travel as far as the last two seasons."

Ulster, who won the competition in 1999, have failed to make it out of the pool stage in the last three seasons.

Harlequins finished sixth in the Premiership last season while Ulster were fifth in the Pro12.

The sides met in the 2008/9 Heineken Cup with Harlequins winning at The Stoop before a Belfast victory for Ulster.

Defending champions Saracens have been drawn in the same pool as runners-up Clermont Auvergne.

The London club retained their title with a 28-17 win over the French side at Murrayfield last month.

Pool 1: WASPS, La Rochelle, Ulster, HARLEQUINS; Pool 2: Clermont, SARACENS, OSPREYS, NORTHAMPTON SAINTS; Pool 3: EXETER, Leinster, Montpellier, GLASGOW; Pool 4: Munster, Racing 92, LEICESTER, Castres;

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