Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Bryan Redpath attended the launch of the Heineken Cup at the Madejski Stadium in Reading on Tuesday and admitted that he was under no illusions as to the challenge awaiting Gloucester in Europe this season.
Gloucester have been drawn in Pool 2 along with Biarritz, Glasgow Warriors and Newport Gwent Dragons and Redpath admitted that there are no weak links.
"I think, as was said at the press conference, that it's a very tough competition. I know for a fact that Glasgow will be tough, they'll want to come down to Kingsholm and give a good account of themselves."
"Newport have a history with Gloucester going back a number of years and are always a tough opponent. I'm under no illusions on that score, they've been steadily improving."
"In recent years they've probably had a harder time of it than the other Welsh regions but they've got a good work ethic and team spirit coming through."
"Their results in the Magners League have been good so far and they gave us a tough game at home last year."
"They'll come to Kingsholm with nothing to lose which makes them dangerous. They work hard for each other and are tough to break down. It'll be tough."
"And Biarritz are a good side. They've moved up to third place in their table recently. Of course, you never really know with the French sides, how they'll travel etc, but the group will be a tough one."
"Europe does bring an extra bit of excitement. Anyone who has played in a Heineken game, home or away, knows there's a bit of extra spice to it."
"It's the Champions League of rugby and the one you want to be in. It's been a great tournament to date and amazing to think that it's the 15th season. It's flown past!"
"We want to do better than we have in the past. We had a quarter final against Munster but lost and there's no shame in that because they're a heck of a good side."
"But, you really have to strive to win your home games and try and pick up what you can away from home."
"We've not talked about last year's Heineken Cup too much, we're focussing on this year. It's obviously been all Guinness Premiership so far and we've had some good displays and some not so good."
"So, we're looking for a good one this weekend before opening against the Dragons next Friday. We'll have a short turnaround but we have to deal with that."
"To get to the later stages would mean a lot to us. There's no point just turning up to make the numbers. We have the potential but have to take our chances."
Speaking after the 15-3 Aviva Premiership defeat at Northampton, Director of Rugby David Humphreys couldn't criticise his team's effort in difficult conditions, but pinpointed the errors and indiscipline that allowed Stephen Myler to kick the home team to victory.
A handful of the Gloucester Rugby Mo-Bros visited Pride Hair Salon in Gloucester on Wednesday afternoon to have the final touches applied to their Movember efforts, and the team captain Jacob Rowan spoke to GRTV ahead of the final few days of the month.
Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.