GLOUCESTER'S first game in next season's Heineken Cup will be away to Irish province Leinster
Dean Ryan's side will make the tough trip to Ireland to face last season's semi-finalists on Saturday, October 21st at 5.30pm in a game that will be shown live on Sky Sports.
It will be a monumental start to the competition for Gloucester as they take on one of the biggest teams in the competition.
Gloucester will then complete the pool stages of the competition with a home game against Brian O'Driscoll's men but those dates and kick-off times have yet to be decided.
In round two, Gloucester will face French side Agen at Kingsholm on Saturday, October 28 at 3pm, where prop Christian Califano will come up against his former side.
In round three, Edinburgh Gunners will make the trip to Kingsholm at 3pm on Saturday, December 9 and on the following Sunday - December 17 - Gloucester will make the trip to Scotland for the return at 1pm for a game that will be shown on Sky.
Munster will launch their defence of the Heineken Cup with a challenging trip to former double winners Leicester Tigers in a Pool 4 clash of past and present champions at Welford Road on Sunday, 22 October (kick-off 15.00).
The Irish province travel to the home of the 2001 and 2002 champions for their first tournament match as holders of European club rugby's most coveted trophy, with Leicester Tigers making the return trip to the Thomond Park fortress in Round 6.
The fixtures, dates, kick-off times and host TV broadcasters for the first four Rounds of the 12th Heineken Cup tournament, released by ERC today (Thursday, 20 July), see English champions Sale Sharks also on the road in Round 1 taking on the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium in Pool 3 on the opening night.
French champions Biarritz Olympique will have home advantage against 2000 Heineken Cup winners Northampton Saints when the opening shots are fired in Pool 6 with top Scottish team Edinburgh Gunners travelling to the South of France to meet Agen, who return to the tournament after a two year absence, in Pool 2.
Welsh No 1 seeds Cardiff Blues will also travel to France to tackle Bourgoin in Pool 4 with Italian standard bearers Benetton Treviso and Irish top seeds Ulster both at home to French opposition, Perpignan going to Treviso and treble champions Toulouse to Belfast.
Tournament newcomers Overmach Rugby Parma will get their first taste of Heineken Cup action away to Border Reivers in Pool 6.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.