Spanish champions Cetransa El Salvador are still searching for their first win in Europe this season - but the learning experiences are proving invaluable.
They went down at 1997 Heineken Cup winners Brive in Round 3 but flanker Daniel Norate said: "Playing in the European Challenge Cup has been amazing for us.
"Being able to line-up against the players of the calibre we have seen this season has been great - although it has been a steep learning curve.
"Although many of the players also work full time, a lot of us are students, which has brought several overseas guys who are studying over in Spain into the team which is fantastic. They have brought a lot in terms of playing cultures and different styles.
"The impact of playing in Europe has been massive. We have one small stand at the university ground where we play and usually have a few hundred spectators.
"But for the Newcastle game 4,000 people turned up to see the big stars playing. I think that match did a lot for Spanish rugby - even though Newcastle put a lot of points on us.
"To play against the likes Jonny Wilkinson and in front of a crowd that size was absolutely amazing and it is through matches like this that Spanish rugby will gain real momentum.
"Five to 10 years ago there was no professional rugby at all in Spain and now we have a few full-time players so things can only get better from here.
"To be facing a team like Brive who can count players like Steve Thompson in their pack and holding our own for any length of time is a real achievement. Brive are a professional and well-organised team and our set-pieces were good and our forwards were very competitive. I hope we can take this into the home leg on Sunday and put on a bit of a show for the fans.
Finals Edition: Listen to the best guide to the European Rugby Cup Finals weekend in Dublin, which sees Leinster Rugby take on Stade Francais Paris at the RDS on Friday night in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final and then ASM Clermont Auvergne tackle Toulon in an all-French affair at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.