Gloucester drawn with London Irish in Challenge Cup

Biarritz's Dimitri Yachvili and Wenceslas Lauret
Biarritz's Dimitri Yachvili (left) and Wenceslas Lauret (right) celebrate with the Amlin Cup

Former European Challenge Cup champions Gloucester have been drawn against Premiership rivals London Irish in Pool One of the competition.

The pair, who faced each other in the 2006 final, will be joined by French duo Bordeaux-Begles and Mont-de-Marsan.

Last year's finalists - winner's Biarritz and runner's up Toulon - are both in the Heineken Cup next season.

The competition starts on 11 October with this year's final at the RDS, Dublin on Friday, 17 May 20:00 BST.

Another former winner, Wasps, who were victorious in 2003, have been drawn in Pool Three along with Newport Gwent Dragons, Bayonne and Italian newcomers, Rugby Mogliano.

The 2008 champions Bath will be up against Cammi Rugby Calvisano from Italy, Agen, and Romania's Bucharest Wolves in Pool Four.

Worcester Warriors' contests with Perpignan will be the highlight of Pool Two which includes Spanish debutants, Bizkaia Gernika RT.

And in Pool Five, Newcastle Falcons are also scheduled to meet strong French opposition in the guise of the 2011 beaten finalists, Stade Francais Paris, and Grenoble, as well as I Cavalieri Prato from Italy.

But Falcons' participation is subject to an appeal to the Rugby Football Union by London Welsh.

The five pool winners will progress to the quarter-finals where they will be joined by three pool runners-up from the Heineken Cup.

Amlin Challenge Cup 2012/13 Pools:

Pool 1: Gloucester Rugby, London Irish, Bordeaux-Begles, Mont-de-Marsan

Pool 2: Perpignan, Worcester Warriors, Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo, Bizkaia Gernika RT

Pool 3: London Wasps, Newport Gwent Dragons, Bayonne, Rugby Mogliano

Pool 4: Bath Rugby, Cammi Rugby Calvisano, Agen, Bucharest Wolves

Pool 5: Stade Francais Paris, *Newcastle Falcons, I Cavalieri Prato, Grenoble

*Newcastle Falcons' participation is subject to an appeal to the Rugby Football Union by London Welsh

Amlin Challenge Cup Dates:

Round 1: 11/12/13/14 October 2012

Round 2: 18/19/20/21 October 2012

Round 3: 6/7/8/9 December 2012

Round 4: 13/14/15/16 December 2012

Round 5: 10/11/12/13 January 2013

Round 6: 17/18/19/20 January 2013

Quarter-finals: 4/5/6/7 April 2013

Semi-finals: 25/26/27/28 April 2013

Dublin 2013 European club rugby finals:

Amlin Challenge Cup final - RDS, Friday, 17 May 2013 (8.00)Amlin Challenge Cup 2012/13 Pools

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