The draw was made this morning for the Pool Stages of the Heineken Cup 2009. This was the first draw to be made using the new ERC ranking system. Having won the Heineken Cup twice in the last 3 years, Munster were ranked number 1. The Pools are:
Munster, Sale, Clermont, Montauban.
Wasps, Leinster, Castres, Edinburgh.
Leicester, Perpignon, Ospreys, Benneton Treviso.
Stade Francis, Llanelli, Ulster, Harlequins.
Toulouse, Bath, Newport, Glasgow.
Biarritz, Gloucester, Cardiff, Calvisano.
The first round of games kick off on the weekend of the 10th October 2008.
Munster have a tough group. There’s no doubt that the away matches to Sale and Clermont will be prove to be both very difficult and very important to our qualification hopes, but the away match to Montauban could be a bit of a banana skin.
Playing any French side in France is tough, but so is playing against a team that you know so very little about. Montauban finished 7th in their first year in the Top 14. That’s not bad. What’s even more remarkable is that they were the first team to beat Stade Francais that season.