Sale's Pool 1 clash with Biarritz at Salford City Stadium is one of a number of high-profile games featured in the 2013/14 Amlin Challenge Cup following the announcement by ERC of the fixtures, dates, kick-off times and live TV coverage of the opening four rounds of the tournament.
With as many as nine European title victories among the 20 clubs from England, France, Italy, Romania, Spain and Wales, the action promises to be competitive, and the 2008 champions, Bath Rugby, will begin their quest for more silverware when they take on Bordeaux-Bègles in Pool 2 at the 34,000-capacity Stade Chaban-Delmas on Saturday, 12 October.
London Wasps get their challenge underway with a Pool 4 visit to Rugby Viadana on 12 October, and Newport Gwent Dragons also face Italian opposition in Round 1 when they host Mogliano Rugby in Pool 2 at Rodney Parade on Friday, 11 October.
Worcester Warriors will break new ground when they travel to French newcomers, Oyonnax - the 98th club to feature in the Amlin Challenge Cup and the European Shield - at Stade Charles-Mathon on Saturday, 12 October, while Newcastle Falcons will make the trip to Romania to take on Bucharest Wolves in Round 1 also on 12 October.
The key contests in Pool 5 are likely to come in Rounds 3 and 4 when last season's defeated finalists, Stade Francais Paris, travel to meet London Irish at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday, 8 December, with the return match scheduled for the following weekend at Stade Jean Bouin.
Cardiff 2014 finals
Amlin Challenge Cup - Cardiff Arms Park; Friday, 23 May 2014 (20.00)
Heineken Cup - Millennium Stadium; Saturday, 24 May 2014 (17.00)