It will be the first time the Dragons have played in the tournament, having missed out on Heineken Cup qualification by losing to Overmach Rugby Parma in the play-off match last month, and their match with Bristol will bring forwards coach Leigh Jones back into contact with his former colleague Richard Hill. Former England skipper Hill is director of rugby at the Memorial Ground having previously worked with Jones at Ebbw Vale and Newport.
With Wales represented in the European Challenge Cup this season, 20 teams from seven nations will compete for the coveted European title. Each side from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Scotland and Wales is guaranteed six group stage matches with the five Pool winners and three best runners-up advancing to the knock-out stages.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP 2006-2007
POOL 1: Newport Gwent Dragons, Bayonne, Bristol Rugby, Bucuresti.
POOL 2: Glasgow Warriors, Narbonne, Saracens, GRAN Parma
POOL 3: Newcastle Falcons, Brive, Petrarca Padova, Montauban
POOL 4: Connacht Rugby, Montpellier, Bath Rugby, NEC Harlequins
POOL 5: ASM Clermont Auvergne, Worcester Warriors, Viadana, Albi