Europe's elite from the mainland continent met in Paris on Tuesday for the official Heineken Cup launch for the French and Italian sides.
Players and coaches from nine clubs came together at the event to celebrate Europe's premier competition which begins in little over a week.
Reining champions Toulouse were joined by six other French Top 14 sides and two Italian teams to discuss their chances of reaching the 16th Heineken Cup final which will take place in Cardiff on May 21.
"The Heineken Cup is a fantastic occasion and is one of the best competitions in the sport," said former European champion and Heineken Cup ambassador Raphael Ibanez.
"Toulouse did well last year to win the tournament, but it starts all over again now with teams having to play against Europe's best to progress.
"There are some interesting matches to come in the pool stages and that starts straight away with RC Toulon playing the Ospreys and current champions Toulouse facing former champions London Wasps."
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French teams have won five of the 15 Heineken Cup tournaments to date. Toulouse have claimed the title five times, while Brive were winners back in 1997.
The first four finals featured at least one French team. Toulouse beat Cardiff in 1996, Brive thrashed Leicester in 1997 and then lost to Bath a year later, with Colomiers falling to Ulster in 1999.
There have been three all-French finals, including last season's clash between Toulouse and Biarritz Olympique pays Basques. The other two encounters also involved Toulouse, with Europe's most successful club beating Perpignan in 2003 and Stade Francais Paris in 2005.
No Italian side has yet made it through to the quarter-finals, although Benetton Treviso have claimed memorable scalps over the likes of Bath, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Harlequins, Wasps, Perpignan and the Scarlets.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.