Sale Sharks have been drawn against former European giants – Toulouse, Cardiff Blues and Lyon – in Pool 2 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup in the draw in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
The Sharks have never played Lyon in any competition, so it’ll be a first time visit to the Stade de Gerland.
Steve Diamond’s men will make a return visit to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, having played them previously in Europe six times, winning three of those games, including a famous comeback victory back in 2012 at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Toulouse will travel to the AJ Bell Stadium for the first time, and have previously played the Sharks on two occasions back in 2009-10, losing both games. Their side features former Shark Richie Gray.
Diamond said: “When I first saw the draw, I thought it was the Champions Cup draw.
“We’ve been drawn against some great teams, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of taking them on.”
Dates for your diary
Round 1: 12/13/14/15 October 2017
Round 2: 19/20/21/22 October 2017
Round 3: 7/8/9/10 December 2017
Round 4: 14/15/16/17 December 2017
Round 5: 11/12/13/14 January 2018
Round 6: 18/19/20/21 January 2018
Quarter-finals: 29/30/31 March / 1 April 2018
Semi-finals: 20/21/22 April 2018
Challenge Cup final: Friday 11 May 2018 (San Mamés Stadium, Bilbao)