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.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Newcastle Falcons (kick off 3pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys emphasised the importance this weekend of Gloucester building on last week's impressive home victory against the Exeter Chiefs.
Speaking to the assembled national and local media, try-scorer Jonny May was delighted and relieved to have tasted victory on Saturday evening, and is looking forward to the European Rugby Challenge Cup final.
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Gloucester Rugby return to Aviva Premiership action against the Newcastle Falcons on Saturday (Kingsholm, kick off 3pm), and make several changes to the side that defeated Exeter Chiefs at home last weekend.