The 2004 / 2005 European Shield tournament kicks-off on the first weekend of December with European newcomers Worcester travelling to Rugby Rovigo in the First Leg of Round 1.
Worcester beat 1997 Heineken Cup champions Brive at home in Round 1 of the European Challenge Cup but lost in the away tie to bow out on a -16 points difference.
"Obviously we were disappointed not to stay in the European Challenge Cup but we are getting more European experience with matches in the Shield and that is great for the players," said coach Andy Keast.
"This is our first season playing in Europe and the players learn from these cross border competitions. It is good to be away in the first leg and we are looking forward to going to Rovigo."
Auch coach Henry Broncan said: "We thoroughly enjoyed the visit of London Irish in Round 1 of the European Challenge Cup, their supporters brought a special atmosphere to Auch and it was great for our players to be up against English players.
"Now we will be playing L'Aquila in Round 1 of the European Shield and we know they are a very good side. We have a lot of players with Italian descent and it is important we make them most welcome to Auch and give our best possible performance on the day."
The twelve teams unsuccessful in Round 1 of the European Challenge Cup have been joined by Bucuresti, Lisboa Rugby Club, UCM Madrid and Bera Bera in the European Shield.
The confirmed fixtures, dates and kick-off times for both legs of Round 1 of the European Shield are:
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.