GLOUCESTER will face Magners League champions Ospreys, Irish side Ulster and Bourgoin in the Heineken Cup next season.
Dean Ryan's side were drawn in Pool Two at today's draw at the Millennium Stadium and Gloucester's head coach said: "We have to look at any draw in a positive fashion and we have to be confident we can be competitive against some very good opposition.
"Last season, some of the most significant lessons in our development were experienced in the Heineken Cup against teams like Leinster and Agen, it is a wonderful competition and to be involved is fantastic.
"In recent seasons we have played both Ulster and Bourgoin in the Heineken Cup so we can build on those experiences. It is an environment we want to be competitive in and this group will provide it.
"Ospreys are a tremendous side and I have a lot of respect what they achieved last season, while Ulster and Bourgoin are very difficult to beat home - we will need to be at our best to progress."
The trip to the Ospreys is an attractive looking contest and will pit Gloucester against Welsh stars Gavin Henson and James Hook. Gloucester will play Ulster in a pre-season friendly in August and have already beaten Bourgoin home and away in previous competitions.
Meanwhile, reigning Heineken Cup champions London Wasps will be up against ASM Clermont Auvergne, Llanelli Scarlets and Munster in Pool 5 when the 13th Heineken Cup tournament kicks-off with the Round 1 matches on the weekend of 9 / 10 /11 November, 2007.
The draw kept the top seeds from each of the six nations apart with Wasps, Stade Français Paris, Leinster, Benetton Treviso, Glasgow Warriors and the Ospreys heading up the six Pools of four teams.
HEINEKEN CUP POOLS 2007 / 2008
POOL 1: Benetton Treviso; London Irish; Perpignan; Newport Gwent Dragons
POOL 2: Ospreys; Gloucester Rugby; Bourgoin; Ulster Rugby
POOL 3: Stade Francais Paris; Bristol Rugby; Cardiff Blues; Harlequins
POOL 4: Glasgow Warriors; Saracens; Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque; Viadana
POOL 5: London Wasps; ASM Clermont Auvergne; Llanelli Scarlets; Munster
POOL 6: Leinster; Leicester Tigers; Toulouse; Edinburgh Rugby
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Tongan international forward Sione Kalamafoni returns after injury to take up his usual place in the back row as Gloucester look to finish their season on a high against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday.
Gloucester Rugby is delighted to confirm that 18 year old Mat Protheroe, a product of Hartpury College and one of the brightest young talents in the English game, has signed a senior contract at Kingsholm.