MUNSTER have been handed a difficult draw in the new European Rugby Champions Cup as they are in the same pool as English Premiership sides Saracens and Sale Sharks and French Top 14 heavyweights Clermont Auvergne.
Saracens were defeated in the final of this season’s Heineken Cup, while Clermont reached the semi-final stage of the competition where they lost heavily to Sarries. The French side were Heineken Cup finalists in 2013 when they lost to Toulon in Dublin.
Sale Sharks competed in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season, topping their pool by winning five of their six fixtures. However, the Sharks were knocked out of the competition by Northampton Saints at the last eight stage.
The dates, venues and kick-off times for next season’s European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures will be conformed in the coming weeks. The first round of pool fixtures will take place in October.
Meanwhile, of the other two Irish provinces competition in the new competition, Leinster are joined in Pool 2 by Top 14 side Castres and Premiership pair Harlequins and London Wasps.
Ulster have been drawn in Pool 3 with defending champions Toulon, English side Leicester Tiger and Welsh outfit Scarlets.