Wednesday's draw for the 2006/07 Heineken Cup has pitted holders Munster against two-time winners Leicester Tigers in a difficult pool.
Declan Kidney's side will square up against the Tigers, French outfit Bourgoin and Cardiff Blues from Wales in Pool 4.
Leinster, beaten semi-finalists in 2005/06, were drawn with Gloucester, Agen and Edinburgh Gunners in Pool 2. Celtic League champions Ulster have French giants Toulouse, London Irish and Llanelli Scarlets for company in Pool 5.
Reacting to the draw, Munster's Irish international hooker Frankie Sheahan said: "It will be tough. Leicester have been the most consistent team in Europe for the last four or five years. Cardiff finished last season very well and are the top seeds in Wales, while Bourgoin means a trip to France which is never easy.
"We have got to get out of the group first and if we're lucky enough to get a home draw (in the quarter-finals) as we did last season, then anything can happen.
"Once we avoid complacency there is no doubt we can got out and win the Heineken Cup again."
The first round of matches for next season's Heineken Cup will take place over the weekend of October 20-22. The fixtures are to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
2006/07 HEINEKEN CUP POOL DRAW:
POOL 1: Benetton Treviso (Italy), Perpignan (France), London Wasps (England), Castres Olympique (France)
POOL 2: Edinburgh Gunners (Scotland), Agen (France), Gloucester (England), LEINSTER (Ireland)
POOL 3: Sale Sharks (England), Stade Francais (France), Calvisano (Italy), Ospreys (Wales)
POOL 4: Cardiff Blues (Wales), Bourgoin (France), Leicester Tigers (England), MUNSTER (Ireland)
POOL 5: ULSTER (Ireland), Toulouse (France), London Irish (England), Llanelli Scarlets (Wales)
POOL 6: Biarritz Olympique (France), Northampton Saints (England), Overmach Parma (Italy), Border Reivers (Scotland)