The draws for the 2014/15 European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup were made at the Stade de la Maladière in Neuchatel, Switzerland this afternoon.
The draws for the pool stages of both tournaments were compered by Craig Doyle of BT Sport and Raphael Ibanez, and conducted by three-time European tournament winner, Simon Shaw, and Scott Quinnell of Sky Sports.
For the first time, the competing teams from the Aviva Premiership, Top 14 and PRO12 qualified on merit.
The draws, held in Neuchatel, Switzerland which will be EPCR's new headquarters, were broadcast live on BTsport.com, Sky Sports News, TG4 and Infosport + and streamed live on epcrugby.com.
Recently-crowned RaboDirect PRO12 champions Leinster were the first team out of the pot for the Champions Cup draw, and will have Castres Olympique, Harlequins and London Wasps for company in Pool 2.
Matt O'Connor's men beat Castres home and away in the 2013/14 Heineken Cup and overcame Harlequins in a hard-fought quarter-final at the Stoop on the way to winning their first European title in 2009.
Wasps are no strangers to Leinster, their most recent meeting being a 48-28 Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final win for the province in April of last year.
Anthony Foley's first European campaign as Munster head coach will see them come up against two of the Heineken Cup's most recent runners-up, Saracens and Clermont Auvergne, as well as Sale Sharks in Pool 1.
Foley's charges could be off to Wembley for their away fixture against Saracens, who beat the Reds 19-13 in their last meeting at Vicarage Road in December 2012. Clermont were also victorious - 16-10 - when they hosted Munster in the Heineken Cup's last-four the following April.
Scarlets boss Simon Easterby has dubbed it a 'pool of death' and it is hard to disagree with the former Ireland flanker when you look at the line-up in Pool 3 - reigning European champions Toulon, Leicester Tigers, Ulster and the Scarlets.
Ulster and the Scarlets are regular rivals in the PRO12, while the province will be meeting French giants Toulon for the first time.
Leicester are familiar opponents - this is the third time in four seasons that Ulster and Tigers have faced off in Europe and Mark Anscombe's side achieved a notable double over the Welford Road outfit in 2013/14.
Meanwhile, Connacht will have two trips to France during their Pool 2 run in the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Bayonne and La Rochelle are the destinations for the Pat Lam-coached westerners who are also set to play Exeter Chiefs, the number one-ranked English club in the competition.
The Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 squads had a busy Easter period with seven matches played in Ashbourne, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Bordeaux. Check out some of the tries scored. Full match reports are available on www.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking to RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about prioritising players playing in Ireland when it comes to national selection over those who are based overseas.
In an interview broadcast on RTE Radio 1's 'Sunday Sport' programme, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the summer tour to the USA and Japan, and also looked ahead to next month's Rugby World Cup Pool Draw.
Speaking about working with the provinces and monitoring players' progress, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt told RTE Radio 1: "For us, having the best quality of performance within the provinces, getting some really good coaching from the provincial coaches, which we know is happening at the moment, that's the foundation that we need because in the end we get the players in a match week pretty much."
In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O'Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.
IRFU National Talent Development Manager Hendrik Kruger says the Easter age-grade internationals give the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 players 'the chance to represent their country and experience international rugby' and are 'the highlight of their season'.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team (sponsored by PwC) played the England U-18 Counties side in the first of two matches at Ashbourne RFC this week. Check out the highlights from Wednesday's entertaining clash.
Four of our stadiums through the eyes of four Irish sporting legends. O'Driscoll on Aviva Stadium, Brogan on Croke Park, Matthews on Kingspan Stadium and O'Connell on Thomond Park. The world is invited #Ireland2023.
Irish Rugby TV caught up with flanker Sean O'Brien to get his reaction following Ireland's hard-earned 13-9 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions England. He singled out man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony for special praise.
Peter O'Mahony reflects on what went wrong for Ireland in Cardiff and tells Irish Rugby TV that he is focusing on the squad and their work this week ahead of the final Six Nations game against England.
The Ireland squad paid a visit to Monaghan last week and held an open training session in Monaghan RFC. We spoke to Andrew Trimble after the session which was attended by over 2,000 cheering supporters.