Benetton Rugby to face Harlequins, Agen and Grenoble

Rich Dore
20 June 2018

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Benetton Rugby have been drawn against Harlequins, Agen and Grenoble for their upcoming 2018/19 European Challenge Cup campaign.

Benetton competed in the Champions Cup last season, exiting at the pool stage, and were the top seed in Pool Five where they face another club who competed in the Champions Cup last year – Harlequins.

Agen, meanwhile, finished bottom of their 2017/18 Challenge Cup pool behind Pau, Gloucester and Zebre, whilst Grenoble are welcomed back into European competition.

Fellow Italian Guinness PRO14 side Zebre will face last season’s Champions Cup quarter-finalists La Rochelle, English side Bristol Bears and Russian club Enisei-STM, in Pool Four.

Zebre will look to improve on a 2017/18 Challenge Cup campaign that saw them exit in the pool stages and were seeded above Bristol, promoted into the English Premiership for 2018/19, and Enisei, who only accrued one point in Europe last term.

Pool Three sees Connacht, who reached the quarter-finals in 2017/18, drawn against Sale Sharks and French outfits Bordeaux-Begles and Perpignan.

Connacht had an excellent campaign in the Challenge Cup last season, finishing top of their pool with five wins from six, and face Sale and Bordeaux-Begles who both finished third in their pools.

Ospreys are included in Pool Two along with top seeds Pau, Worcester Warriors and Stade Français.

Ospreys were the second tier side drawn in their pool, with Pau, who lost out to Cardiff Blues in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, the top seeds.

Meanwhile Bernard Jackman’s Dragons will compete in Pool One where they face Northampton Saints, Clermont Auvergne and Romanian club Timisoara Saracens.

The Dragons were unfortunate in the Challenge Cup last season, finishing second in their pool but missing out on the quarter-finals by a point, and in 2018/19 come up against two sides who were in Champions Cup action last year – Northampton and Clermont.

The first round will take place in October with the full fixture list to be announced later this summer.

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