Glasgow were listed in the top group of seeds for the first time – thanks to reaching the Pro12 final. And, while they managed to sidestep all three Irish giants in yesterday’s draw in Switzerland, they were still pitted against the might of Toulouse and Montpellier, along with Premiership side Bath.
Townsend said: “To be a leading seed was fantastic but, when you look at the quality of the other teams, it doesn’t matter where you are rated, you’re always going to be in a tough pool. That was underlined when Toulouse were drawn out as the last side in our group – they’ve been champions four times. I can’t wait for my players to go head to head against some top-notch sides.”
Edinburgh also face two trips to France in the Challenge Cup after being drawn with Lyon, Bordeaux-Begles and London Welsh and Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons was quick to pick out Lyon as the main dangers in the group.
He said: “I think that they are going to provide the strongest opposition. They have just been promoted into the Top 14 and are going well.
“London Welsh, with their experience of the Premiership, will also be tough, while Bordeaux are the team I know least about.”
EUROPEAN RUGBY CHAMPIONS CUP DRAW
Pool draw for the 2014-15 European Rugby Champions Cup:
Pool 1: Saracens, Munster, Clermont Auvergne, Sale Sharks.
Pool 2: Leinster, Castres, Harlequins, Wasps.
Pool 3: Toulon, Leicester, Ulster, Scarlets.
Pool 4: Glasgow, Montpellier, Bath, Toulouse.
Pool 5: Northampton, Racing Metro, Ospreys, Treviso.
Pool draw for the 2014-15 European Rugby Challenge Cup:
Pool 1: Cardiff Blues, London Irish, Grenoble, FIRA 1 qualifier.
Pool 2: Exeter, Bayonne, Connacht, La Rochelle.
Pool 3: Stade Francais, Newport Gwent Dragons, Newcastle, FIRA 2 qualifier.
Pool 4: Edinburgh, Bordeaux-Begles, London Welsh, Lyon.
Pool 5: Gloucester, Brive, Zebre, Oyonnax.