We want to compete with 'the best of the best'
June 11, 2014
© Getty Images
The great and the good from the Premiership give their reaction to the European Rugby Champions Cup draw
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill: "Leicester always want to compete against the best of the best and that is what the new European Rugby Champions Cup is all about. We're looking forward to taking part in its first season and maintaining the club's proud tradition in European competition. I'm sure the Tigers supporters are already looking forward to some big European occasions at Welford Road and some exciting trips away with the team too. It is a very competitive group with Ulster, the Scarlets and Toulon who won the European Cup and French title this season. We've been to all three venues in recent seasons and know the strength of the challenge from each of them - and I'm sure they'll all be looking at Leicester and thinking the same thing."
Northampton Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder: "We haven't played Racing Metro before, and going to Paris will be an exciting challenge. Racing is an ambitious club and showed in their recent play-offs win away at Toulouse just how dangerous they can be. They have a squad packed with quality players and are strengthening even further over the summer. While Racing is a new opponent for us we know what to expect from the Ospreys. We had to work extremely hard for our results against them last season and it will be no different in 2014/15. Dan Biggar is a top goal kicker and Alun Wyn Jones is an outstanding captain and any side that has that number of internationals deserves to be respected. We haven't played Treviso for a few years, and it will be good to go back to Italy. But while that will be a good trip for the supporters we will have to make sure we keep our focus on the job in hand, which is to get a win over a team that beat Munster and ran Leinster and Ulster close on home turf in the Pro 12 last season."
London Wasps director of rugby, Dai Young: "We always knew it would be a tough pool after qualifying as bottom seed, but my initial reaction is one of excitement. We know it will be a massive challenge for us as a squad and rugby department, but it's the kind of challenge we are all really looking forward to. This is where we, the Club and our supporters want to be, playing in the top competition against the best teams in Europe. "Leinster speak for themselves in terms of quality. They have been one of the best teams in Europe over the last five or six years, while Castres are the second best team in France, with a big budget. We also know that our near neighbours, Harlequins, are a quality outfit. so it will be a challenge, but if you want to improve and get better, you have to challenge yourself against the best. I am excited for the players, the coaches and Wasps supporters."
Harlequins head coach John Kingston: "Playing a side like Leinster with their wonderful European pedigree of late is a really mouth-watering prospect and equally Castres, having reached the French Top 14 final this year and being French Champions the previous season, offers another great challenge for us. Our record against French sides recently has been very good and clearly the players will be very much looking forward to another massive Anglo-French match-up. The new structure of the competition will mean even more that every point is going to be vital and that each match is going to be massively competitive. All in all it's a really exciting draw and we're looking forward to it kicking off in earnest in October."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Fiji win the 40th Hong Kong Sevens, defeating reigning champions New Zealand 33-19 in the Cup final for their 15th title
Andy Murray brushed aside Colombia's Santiago Giraldo with the minimum of fuss in the third round of the Miami Open
Luis Suarez received a rapturous reception as he made his first return to Anfield since joining Barcelona, playing the second half of a charity game between sides captained by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher
Scotland's Richie Ramsay recovered from seeing a three-shot lead disappear in the space of two holes to win the Hassan Trophy after a rollercoaster final round on Sunday
Danny Welbeck believes signing for Arsenal has helped him to improve his international form for England
In the latest edition of ESPN's Week in Words, Dion Dublin makes something of a career change, RFU officials have some harsh words for the national team, and Kell Brook is eyeing a bigger prize...
Miroslav Klose scored goals in the World Cup final tournaments of 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Has anyone else scored World Cup goals 12 years apart?
Mudslinging and an agreement on something that will never happen, it's all in a day's work for a Formula One boss, as Maurice Hamilton explains...
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Kevin De Bruyne would consider a move back to Chelsea despite barely featuring in his time at Stamford Bridge, sources told ESPN
England manager Roy Hodgson confirmed that Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck will miss Tuesday's international friendly against Italy with injury, while Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling will also be excused from the game in Turin
Chelsea forward Eden Hazard believes playing in the Premier League has made him a better player
Phil Jones appears to be facing a race against time to be fit for Manchester United's Champions League clash with Real Madrid after missing training on Monday
Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck has pulled out of the England squad because of a knee injury he suffered in Friday's 4-0 win over Lithuania
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Everton defender Phil Jagielka is to have surgery on a badly gashed ankle, manager David Moyes has confirmed
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?