Falcons included in cup draw

Newcastle have been included in the draw for the group stages of next season's Amlin Challenge Cup despite uncertainty remaining over their participation.


The Falcons were awarded a place in the competition after being spared relegation from the Aviva Premiership by the failure of London Welsh to meet the criteria for promotion.

But with Welsh having appealed against the Rugby Football Union's decision to exclude them from the top flight, plans for next season's competitions may have to be changed.

Newcastle were pitched alongside two French sides in Stade Francais and Grenoble and Italian outfit Cavalieri Prato in Pool Five when the draw was made at European Rugby Cup offices in Dublin.

Their place will be handed to Welsh if the RFU reverse their decision regarding promotion after a hearing on June 21.

Elsewhere in the draw for Europe's second-tier competition, former winners Gloucester were paired with Premiership rivals London Irish in Pool One. Bordeaux-Begles and Mont-de-Marsan make up the group.

Wasps, the 2003 winners, will face Newport Gwent Dragons, Bayonne and Mogliano in Pool Three while Worcester were drawn in Pool Two with Perpignan, Spanish debutants Bizkaia Gernika and Italians Rovigo.

Bath are in Pool Four with Calvisano, Agen and Bucharest Wolves.

The five pool winners will progress to the quarter-finals where they will be joined by three group runners-up from the Heineken Cup. The final will take place at Dublin's RDS Arena on May 17 next year.

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