Leinster coach Micheal Cheika believes his Heineken Cup champions will face the toughest task in European club rugby when they defence their title in the 15th season of the competition.
The champions, drawn with London Irish, Scarlets and Brive in Pool 6, will be attempting to achieve what has only been done once before - win back to back Heineken Cup titles.
"As champions you are always more of a target, you are there to be shot at, and history has proven that defending the Heineken Cup is a massive task.
"Leicester managed it once but history is certainly against you and so far it has proved too much for all the other Heineken Cup winners.
"Every Pool in next season's tournament is a tough one and we know that going to Brive will be extremely challenging.
"London Irish did exceptionally well in the Premiership last season and we know the Scarlets well, that week in week out they are capable of getting the right results.
"The draw has thrown up plenty of potentially high-quality matches and I can't wait for us to start defending the title."
The final will be returning to French soil for the first time since 2001 and Stade Francais Paris team manager Alain Elias is already thinking of a "home" final.
"Our Pool is not an easy one - and we are certainly well used to going to Ulster - but, hopefully, with the final being in Paris it is nice to think we could be playing in our home city next May," he said.
"Of course there is a very long way to before the final but we have that objective to aim for."
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.