And for Wasps that means they must progress from Pool 1 - dubbed the 'Pool of Death' - due to a make up that features two-times Heineken champions Leicester Tigers and tricky Italian customers Calvisano, alongside last season's semi-finalists Biarritz.
"I think whoever qualifies from this group will go a long way in the tournament," said Wasps captain Lawrence Dallaglio. "It is certainly a tough Pool but if you want to win the Heineken Cup you have to beat the best teams along the way. We are excited about the challenges ahead.
"Winning the Heineken Cup last season was a dream come true and something I will always remember. However, we realise that the hard work starts now in trying the retain it. We are in a tough group and will have our work cut out, but Wasps are up for the challenge. If this season's competition is anything like the last one, then the fans are in for a massive treat. The Heineken Cup has gone from strength to strength and is undoubtedly the showcase competition for northern hemisphere rugby."
And his clubmate and England wing Josh Lewsey added: "It is the sort of thing you get really excited about. To have two great teams Like Wasps and Biarritz play each other at the start of such a magnificent competition is an immense challenge."
"The standard of rugby in the Heineken Cup last season was incredible - I would say it was higher than most international games."
HEINEKEN CUP FINAL TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets for the 10th Heineken Cup Final at Murrayfield on Sunday, 22 May, 2005 will be available for purchase from today (Monday, 18 October).
Tickets can be bought from the following outlets:
Call the Heineken Cup Final Ticket Hotline 0870 040 1925 form the UK and 0044 870 040 1925 from the Republic of Ireland, France, Italy and the rest of the world.
You can log on to the official Heineken Cup website - www.ercrugby.com - and buy your tickets on-line.
You can log on to the Scottish Rugby Union's official website - www.sru.org.uk - and buy your tickets on-line.
Tickets in all categories will be available for purchase from today. Ticket prices are as follows:
£15 (approx 22 Euros) £10 (approx 15 Euros)
£25 (approx 37 Euros) £15 (approx 22 Euros)
£35 (approx 52 Euros) £20 (approx 30 Euros)
£45 (approx 67 Euros) £25 (approx 37 Euros)
Please note the following points:
1. Booking fees and postage and packing charges will be applied to each transaction.
2. Ticket purchases will be confirmed on booking but will not be sent out until closer to the event. This is for security purposes.
3. No more than 10 tickets can be purchased by any one individual.