Bridgend-born Cattle's Pirates beat Munster 23-14 in the inaugural final at Camborne's Recreation Ground and will launch their defence against competition new boys Currie, who won the Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership title.
There will also be another new face from Scotland, Melrose, while Esher and Worcester Warriors will enter the competition as new teams in the RFU Championship following their promotion and relegation.
The Welsh challenge will be led by reigning Principality Premiership champions, and Play-Off winners, Neath, while Llandovery and Swansea will make their bows in the competition after missing out last season. The other Welsh sides will be Llanelli, Newport and Pontypridd.
Newport are in Pool A with three teams they met last season, Pirates, Leinster and Plymouth Albion, while Pool B will see Llanelli face three English clubs in Bristol, Esher and Nottingham.
Arch-rivals Neath and Swansea will clash in Pool C, where they will also meet London Welsh, while Pontypridd will tackle former coach Lynn Howells again in Pool D when his Doncaster Knights side look to top their Pool once again. Llandovery join Pontypridd in Pool D, which also features three English sides.
Five of the Welsh clubs will open their British and Irish Cup campaign in October to avoid a clash with Six Nations games in late February.
Newport, who only missed out on last season's knock-out rounds after losing to the eventual winners Cornish Pirates in the last round, start at home to Leinster, Swansea welcome last season's semi-finalists Ulster, Llandovery host fellow Welsh side Pontypridd and Llanelli travel to losing finalists Munster on the weekend of October 16.
Neath play their first game in December - away to regional rivals Swansea. Nathan Bonner-Evans, who has joined Principality Premiership champions from London Welsh, will also come up against his old team mates at the Gnoll in the final Pool C match.
He said: "I really enjoyed this competition last season, coming up against different players from different countries. Last year we played Llanelli at Old Deer Park and Aberavon at Talbot Athletic Ground - it's good for the supporters to see clubs renew some old rivalries in a meaningful competition."
Neath's first game is against fellow Ospreys side Swansea at St Helens on the weekend of December 11. "I'm sure that will be a very tough game, with the fact that Neath beat Swansea in the Premiership Play-Off final on the last day of last season adding to the usual rivalries. We are targeting the British and Irish Cup this season and although we have some tough teams in Bedford, Ulster, London Welsh, Moseley and Swansea, that experience can only benefit us as players and coaches," added Bonner-Evans.
Newport head coach Sven Cronk is also desperate to have another crack at qualifying from Pool A:
"We really enjoyed the competition as a club last season and we were relatively successful, although we lost out on the last day of the Pool stages. The aim is to go at least one step further this season," said Cronk.
"It is certainly a tournament we need, especially for teams at the top end of the Principality Premiership. It's good for the players to push themselves against the professional players from England and Ireland."
Llandovery qualified for the British and Irish Cup by finishing in eighth place in the Principality Premiership and beating Aberavon in Round 1 of the play-offs.
"This competition means a great deal to the town of Llandovery. We have been relegation candidates in the Premiership for the past five years and we exceeded all expectations to qualify for this tournament," said outside half Cerith Rees.
"There won't be any pressure on us because people won't expect much from us. We will be playing my old club Doncaster up there and it will be great to catch up with some old mates.
"The Championship in England is more physical than the Premiership is here in Wales, although the system we have here in Wales is very good at developing talent. It will be interesting to see how we measure up to the physicality of sides like Doncaster."
WRU Head of Rugby, Performance and Development Joe Lydon said: "We know that our Principality Premiership clubs got a huge amount out of their first season of cross-border competitive rugby and they will now be looking to be more competitive in challenging for places in the knock-out rounds. We have worked with the participating Unions and listened to our clubs in terms of how best to structure the tournament and we feel that by scheduling the majority of the British and Irish Cup away from the international window will give it greater visibility and put less pressure on the clubs in terms of the calls on players.
Terry Burwell, British & Irish Cup Director, added: "The inaugural British & Irish Cup was very positively received and gave players, coaches, referees and spectators a different level of competition to what they are used to.
"Anyone who was at the final or saw it on Sky Sports saw the appetite for cross-border cup rugby and I am sure this tournament, just like the Heineken Cup in its early days, will go from strength to strength.
"We have kept the same pool framework and reversed last season's fixtures wherever possible as we promised and we have included a quarter-final so that there is a greater opportunity for more teams to progress to the knockout stages."
Pool A: Cornish Pirates, Currie, Leinster, Newport, Plymouth Albion, Worcester Warriors
Pool B: Bristol Rugby, Esher, Llanelli, Melrose, Munster, Nottingham Rugby
Pool C: Bedford Blues, London Welsh, Moseley, Neath, Swansea, Ulster
Pool D: Ayr, Birmingham & Solihull, Doncaster Knights, Llandovery, Pontypridd, Rotherham Titans
Round 1, December 11
Pool A: Leinster v Plymouth Albion, Currie v Cornish Pirates, Worcester Warriors v Newport
Pool B: Bristol Rugby v Nottingham Rugby, Melrose v Munster, Esher v Llanelli
Pool C: London Welsh v Moseley, Bedford Blues v Ulster, Swansea v Neath
Pool D: Birmingham & Solihull v Doncaster Knights, Rotherham Titans v Llandovery, Pontypridd v Ayr
Round 2, December 18
Pool A: Plymouth Albion v Newport, Cornish Pirates v Leinster, Currie v Worcester Warriors
Pool B: Melrose v Esher, Llanelli v Nottingham Rugby, Bristol Rugby v Munster
Pool C: Neath v Bedford Blues, Ulster v Moseley, London Welsh v Swansea
Pool D: Doncaster Knights v Rotherham, Ayr v Llandovery, Pontypridd v Birmingham & Solihull
Round 3, January 15
Pool A: Cornish Pirates v Plymouth Albion, Leinster v Worcester Warriors, Currie v Newport
Pool B: Esher v Bristol Rugby, Nottingham Rugby v Munster, Llanelli v Melrose
Pool C: Bedford Blues v London Welsh, Moseley v Swansea, Ulster v Neath
Pool D: Pontypridd v Rotherham, Llandovery v Doncaster Knights, Birmingham & Solihull v Ayr
Round 4, January 22
Pool A: Worcester Warriors v Plymouth Albion, Leinster v Currie, Newport v Cornish Pirates
Pool B: Nottingham Rugby v Melrose, Bristol Rugby v Llanelli, Munster v Esher
Pool C: Moseley v Neath, London Welsh v Ulster, Swansea v Bedford Blues
Pool D: Rotherham v Ayr, Doncaster Knights v Pontypridd, Llandovery v Birmingham & Solihull
Round 5, February 26
Pool A: Worcester Warriors v Cornish Pirates, Plymouth Albion v Currie, Newport v Leinster*
Pool B: Esher v Nottingham Rugby, Melrose v Bristol Rugby, Munster v Llanelli*
Pool C: Bedford Blues v Moseley, Neath v London Welsh, Swansea v Ulster*
Pool D: Birmingham & Solihull v Rotherham, Ayr v Doncaster Knights, Llandovery v Pontypridd*
NB: Round 5 matches marked * will be played on the weekend of October 16.
Quarter finals, March 5
Pool A Winner v Pool C Runner Up
Pool C Winner v Pool A Runner Up
Pool B Winner v Pool D Runner Up
Pool D Winner v Pool B Runner Up
Semi finals, April 23
Final, May 7