Brive, the 1997 Heineken Cup champions, travel to Newcastle Falcons for their Round 1 clash on Saturday with captain and flanker Jérôme Bonvoisin relishing the prospect of facing ace fly half Jonny Wilkinson.
"Obviously Wilkinson is a big player and for each player personally it's a privilege to play in a competitive game against such high profile players," said Bonvoisin. "As far as the team as a whole is concerned, although it would be tempting to want him to be unavailable as he is a dangerous player who can change a game, we also want to pit ourselves against the best to test and prove ourselves. "Newcastle are probably the biggest threat to us in Pool 4 and it would be fantastic for us to get a victory against them when they are at full strength.
"Getting to the semi-finals in last year's tournament has given us an even greater desire for European victory. The tournament gives our players a great playing and cultural experience and the supporters are as hungry as we are for European Challenge Cup success.
"We learn a great deal every time we play a European game, particularly from the English who have a totally different attitude to us towards their training and games.
"The opportunity to play against some of the best teams in Europe gives our players a great experience and can only help our bid for success in the Top 14.
"As to our Pool 4 opponents, l'Aquila are a bit of unknown quantity, otherwise I can't see much of a gap between the other three teams.
"Playing teams we know relatively little about adds to the experience while we are looking forward to playing Newcastle as we know the English undergo perhaps more strict and rigorous training and match preparation than us."
Brive have failed to find any sort of winning form away from home this season and will be looking to make a start to that on Saturday.
"Although we have lost all of our Top 14 away games this season, we were up against big teams every time - Castres Olympique, Stade Francais Paris and Biarritz Olympique," he said.
"And, despite the results, we performed well against these teams who are all in this year's Heineken Cup.
"Playing away in Europe is actually very different to playing away in France. We will be under a lot less pressure which will help loosen up our game and allow us to experiment a bit more. We are certainly looking forward to the trip!
"We have a couple of injury worries but we will be playing our strongest available team against Newcastle."
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.