Munster will be desperate to keep hold of their title when the defending champions kick off the tournament against newcomers Montauban. 

There have been several changes in the summer at the home of the two-time kings of Europe following May’s final triumph over Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium. 

Thomond Park has been revamped to a capacity of 26,000 while Tony McGahan has replaced new Ireland coach Declan Kidney. 

Montauban will be the 55th club to play in the tournament – and Stade de Sapiac the 83rd Heineken Cup venue – as they take their bow in Pool 1 alongside Munster, ASM Clermont Auvergne and Sale Sharks.

“We are very happy and honoured to be part of this competition,” said captain Marc Raynaud.

“We are one of seven French clubs taking part – which in itself is a great thing – and we are the newcomers.

“It’s up to us now to build on that fantastic opportunity and make the most of it and, although we are in a very difficult Pool, we are going to do our best.”