The announcement was made earlier this week at the French launch of the 2012/13 tournaments, held at the headquarters of France Télévisions in Paris.
The event, which was attended by representatives of the seven French Heineken Cup clubs and by Stade Francais Paris, who are competing in the Amlin Challenge Cup, is one of four official launches organised by ERC in advance of the 2012/13 European club rugby season.
Next Monday, Bryan Redpath and David Seymour will be flying down to London for the English launch at Sky Studios. Further launches will be held in Dublin (2 October - Aviva Stadium) and Rome (8 October - Stadio Olimpico).
The French launch picture features the captains of (left to right): Montpellier, Castres, Toulouse, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Biarritz, Racing Metro and Toulon.
Two clubs - Exeter Chiefs (England) and Zebre (Italy) - are competing in the Heineken Cup for the first time, and five stadia will be new to the World's most competitive club tournament: King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Scotstoun (Glasgow Warriors), Salford City Stadium (Sale Sharks), Sandy Park (Exeter Chiefs) and Stadio XXV Aprile (Zebre).
In Round 1, Racing Metro will host Munster Rugby at the Stade de France, and Toulouse will meet Leicester Tigers at Le Stadium. In Round 2, Castres Olympique are moving their game against Northampton Saints to Stade Ernest Wallon, while Saracens will take their clash with Racing Metro to the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels. Then in Round 4, reigning champions Leinster Rugby will renew their rivalry with ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva Stadium.
With the Brussels fixture set to bring Heineken Cup action to Belgium for the first time, tournament games will have been played in the following ten countries: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium.
Both 2013 finals will be staged in Dublin with the Amlin Challenge Cup set for Friday,17th May at the Royal Dublin Showground (8.00pm) and the Heineken Cup going ahead at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday,18th May (5.00pm).
Sale Sharks open up their European campaign with a fixture against Cardiff Blues at Salford City Stadium on Sunday 14th October (Kick off 12.45pm). Buy your tickets online or ring 08444 994 994.
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