Another former winner, London Wasps, who were victorious in 2003, have been drawn in Pool 3 along with Newport Gwent Dragons, Bayonne and Italian newcomers, Rugby Mogliano, while the 2008 champions, Bath Rugby, will be up against Cammi Rugby Calvisano from Italy, Agen, and Romania's Bucharest Wolves in Pool 4.
Worcester Warriors' contests with Perpignan could well be the highlight of Pool 2 which includes Spanish debutants, Bizkaia Gernika RT, and in Pool 5, Newcastle Falcons are also scheduled to meet strong French opposition in the guise of the 2011 beaten finalists, Stade Français Paris, and Grenoble, as well as I Cavalieri Prato from Italy.
The five pool winners will progress to the quarter-finals where they will be joined by three pool runners-up from the Heineken Cup.
The draw took place at ERC's offices in Dublin and was overseen by Jon Davies, Tournament and Operations Director, Six Nations Rugby.
Amlin Challenge Cup 2012/13 Pools
Pool 1: Gloucester Rugby, London Irish, Bordeaux-Bègles, Mont-de-Marsan
Pool 2: Perpignan, Worcester Warriors, Femi-CZ VEA Rovigo, Bizkaia Gernika RT (Spain)
Pool 3: London Wasps, Newport Gwent Dragons, Bayonne, Rugby Mogliano
Pool 4: Bath Rugby, Cammi Rugby Calvisano, Agen, Bucharest Wolves
Pool 5: Stade Français Paris, *Newcastle Falcons, I Cavalieri Prato, Grenoble
*Newcastle Falcons' participation is subject to an appeal to the Rugby Football Union by London Welsh
Amlin Challenge Cup Dates
Round 1 11/12/13/14 October 2012
Round 2 18/19/20/21 October 2012
Round 3 6/7/8/9 December 2012
Round 4 13/14/15/16 December 2012
Round 5 10/11/12/13 January 2013
Round 6 17/18/19/20 January 2013
Quarter-finals 4/5/6/7 April 2013
Semi-finals 25/26/27/28 April 2013
Dublin 2013 European club rugby finals
Amlin Challenge Cup final - RDS, Friday, 17 May 2013 (8.00)
Heineken Cup final- Aviva Stadium, Saturday, 18 May 2013 (5.00)