English top seed Sale Sharks have been drawn against Stade Francais, Calvisano, and the Neath Swansea Ospreys in Pool 3 of next season’s Heineken Cup.

As English Champions, Sale Sharks were the seeded team from the Guinness Premiership, and therefore could not be paired with another English side, nor with any other of the seeded teams.

Sale Shark’s Chief executive Niels de Vos, commented on the draw to www.salesharks.com :

“This is a very attractive draw for our fans, with all three of our opponents being teams we have never played before. The trips to Paris and Italy will be very attractive as will the chance to play in the new stadium in Swansea. For the home games, fans will be looking forward to hosting the superstars of Stade Francais, and the likes of Justin Marshall and Gavin Henson of the Ospreys.

“From a rugby perspective, it is clearly good news that we have avoided some of the dangerous unseeded teams, in particular the current Champions Munster. It must be our objective to finish top of this group and to secure a home quarter final, but that will be very tough in this sort of company.”