"This is a particularly demanding pool, and it is going to be very, very difficult to qualify," said Guy Novès, the evergreen Toulouse Director of Rugby. "There are no weak teams in this pool. Historically, Leicester has always been one of the major players in this competition, and they always seem to be able to rise to the occasion, while the Opsreys play exactly the same type of rugby as the Welsh national team, who won the Grand Slam this year."
Clermont Auvergne, who lost to Leinster in the tensely-fought semi-final in Bordeaux, as well as the equally dramatic quarter final (29-28) in 2010, will once again came up against their nemesis in Pool 5 which also features the Scarlets and newcomers to the competition, Exeter Chiefs.
Toulon, losing finalists in both the Amlin Challenge Cup and the French Top14 mark their return to the Heineken Cup in an evenly balanced pool, along with the Cardiff Blues, Sale Sharks and Montpellier.
In Pool 1, Racing Métro will once again come up against Edinburgh, while for the third year running the men from Castres Olympique are also in the same pool as Northampton.
Finally Biarritz, who qualified thanks to their victory in the final of the Amlin Challenge Cup are in with English champions, Harlequins, Connacht and the new Italian franchise, Zebre.