New challenges await Connacht Rugby as they embark on the first ever year of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

In Switzerland today, the draw was made for the 2014/15 European tournament. In Pool 2, Pat Lam’s men will face English Premiership side Exeter Chiefs, and Top 14 outfits La Rochelle – recently promoted – and Bayonne.

Since the first year of Heineken Cup Rugby in Connacht, the West of Ireland has seen major changes both within the Sportsground and throughout Galway as thousands of supporters have flocked to the city to see Connacht take on French powerhouses Biarritz and Toulouse and Aviva Premiership giants Saracens, Harlequins and Gloucester over the last three seasons.

Next season promises to be an equally thrilling journey for Connacht as they compete in the inaugural year of the European Challenge Cup.

Connacht Rugby season tickets remain the only way to guarantee entry to the three home pool matches, as well as all 11 of Connacht’s home RaboDirect PRO12 games.

Season Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at ConnachtRugby.ie or from the Connacht Rugby offices at the Sportsground, College Road, Galway.

Details of the fixture dates and kick off times will be announced in July.

Pools for the 2014/15 European Rugby Challenge Cup:

Pool 1

Cardiff Blues, London Irish, Grenoble, FIRA 1.

Pool 2

Exeter Chiefs, Bayonne, Connacht, La Rochelle.

Pool 3

Stade Français, Newport-Gwent Dragons, Newcastle, FIRA 2.

Pool 4

Edinburgh Rugby, Bordeaux-Bègles, London Welsh, Lyon.

Pool 5

Gloucester, 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

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