Enisei-STM from Krasnoyarsk are the first Russian club to take part in major European club competition after coming through qualification and are potential opponents for last year’s beaten finalists Edinburgh when the Challenge Cup draw is made in Neuchatel, Switzerland.
Guinness Pro12 winners Glasgow will be in pot one along with fellow champions Saracens of England and Stade Francais of France when the European Champions Cup draw kicks off proceedings in the EPCR headquarters at 1:15pm BST.
The dream scenario would be for Gregor Townsend’s team to draw Italian side Treviso from pot four as the Scotstoun outfit look to make the knockout stages for the first time.
That is seen as the obvious next progression in the Glasgow Warriors’ success story of recent years but, even with a top seeding, the chances of ending up in a difficult group in what is always a brutally tough competition remains high.
Former England international Simon Halliday, the recently-appointed chairman of EPCR, believes today’s pools drawn by legendary French duo Raphael Ibanez and Dimitri Yachvilli and ex-Wales and Lions wing Ieuan Evans will be the strongest ever.
He told the EPCR website: “There is a new order in European rugby with teams like Glasgow Warriors winning a title, as well as Bath and Stade Français coming back, and it really is great to see more and more clubs across the continent looking to become more and more competitive in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.”
Edinburgh are joined in the Challenge Cup draw by the likes of Gloucester, who beat them in the final at Twickenham in May, Connacht, Dragons, Sale, Newcastle, Montpellier and Castres.