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
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.