WARRIORS will host two giants of European rugby in the group stage of this season’s European Challenge Cup.
Toulon, three-times winners of the Heineken Champions Cup, and Biarritz, who won the Challenge Cup in 2012, will both visit Sixways as part of the modified version of the competition announced by European Professional Club Rugby today.
Warriors will begin their Challenge Cup campaign with an all-Gallagher Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on the weekend of December 10-12.
Biarritz, who return to European competition after an absence of seven years following their promotion to France’s Top-14 competition, will visit Sixways on the weekend of December 17-19.
Toulon, who won the Champions Cup three years running between 2012 and 2015, will be the visitors on the weekend of January 21-23 before Warriors complete the group stage of the competition with a trip to Italy to face Zebre in Parma on the weekend of January 21-23.
Warriors have a bye on the final weekend of group matches on the weekend of April 8-10.
The 15 Challenge Cup clubs have been allocated into three pools based on their rankings from last season’s domestic leagues.
A round of 16 will be played on the weekend of April 15-17 followed by quarter-finals and semi-finals with the final scheduled for the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles on May 27.
The three highest ranked clubs from each pool and the highest ranked fourth placed club plus the three clubs ranked nine to 11 from each of the Heineken Champions Cup pools will qualify for the round of 16.