Heineken Cup and Premiership Final runners-up Saracens have been given a brutal draw in the newly styled European Rugby Champions Cup pool draw in Neuchatel, Switzerland today.
The top seeded 'tier one' side will come up against two-time Heineken Cup winners Munster, beaten semi-finalists Clermont and fellow English side Sale Sharks in the inaugural season of the tournament which is replacing the successful Heineken Cup.
The draw will see Saracens lock horns with Clermont yet again after losing to them in the quarter-finals of the 2012 tournament but thrashing the French powerhouse 46-6 in last year's semi-final. The Frenchmen themselves beat Munster the last time they met, creating a group full of grudge matches.
Sale Sharks make up the ‘group of death’, and a side inspired by the resurgent Danny Cipriani will face a very tough challenge in their first appearance at Europe’s top level since 2012.
Elsewhere, Premiership champions Northampton Saints have an easier draw against Racing Metro, Ospreys and Benetton Treviso, while Leicester Tigers have been drawn against Heineken Cup winners Toulon, Ulster and Llanelli Scarlets in Pool Three.
London rivals London Wasps and Harlequins have been pitted against each other alongside Pro 12 champions Leinster and Castres. Bath, meanwhile, will face four-time champions Toulouse, Montpellier and Glasgow Warriors in Pool Four.
With the winner of each group and only the three best runner-ups from the five groups progressing to the quarter-finals, every game is a must win, especially in groups where each team has a chance of progressing.
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