It will also be a case of winding back the clock as Connacht travel to northern Italy to take on Rovigo, having secured a 21-20 victory there ten years ago.
Commenting on the pool draw, Connacht CEO Gerry Kelly said: "We're pleased with the draw we received in next season's European Challenge Cup. It will be exciting.
"Having London Irish coming to Galway will be a great sporting occasion and we're very much looking forward to the challenge and to playing them at the Madjeski Stadium.
"It'll be our first time facing them in Europe but we have played them over the last few years in pre-season friendlies and we've a very good working relationship with them."
Kelly said it would be a step into the unknown against the French and Italians but he was hopeful that Michael Bradley's men can make it to the quarter-finals.
"We would be confident of reaching the quarter-finals and now that we know who we're playing we can look forward to the games ahead," he added.