Lyon are the next EPCR Challenge Cup contenders to be analysed and they will be looking to qualify for the knockout stage for the first time.

Challenge Cup record

Lyon have never got beyond the pool stage of the tournament in the four seasons in which they have competed – namely 2011-12, 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Last season

For the third successive campaign, they competed in the Heineken Champions Cup and they reached the Round of 16 for the first time before losing 47-25 at Exeter Chiefs. Earlier, they hammered Gloucester Rugby 55-10 at home in the pool stage.

Head coach

Pierre Mignoni has occupied the Lyon hot seat since 2015, after joining the club from RC Toulon, where he was backs coach for four years. As a player, he won 28 caps for France at scrum-half and turned out for Toulon, Béziers, Dax and ASM Clermont Auvergne.

Key players

Lyon rely on a pack full of French internationals – such as prop Demba Bamba, lock Félix Lambey, flanker Dylan Cretin and No.8 Mathieu Bastareaud – plus a sprinkling of foreign stardust in the backs, like New Zealand fly-half Lima Sopoaga and centre Charlie Ngatai, plus Fiji wing Josua Tuisova.

Pool fixtures

Lyon resume battle with Gloucester in their opening Pool B game at Matmut Stadium de Gerland on December 10 before visiting Dragons a week later. In Round 3 they travel to TOP 14 rivals USAP and then close their pool schedule with a home fixture against Benetton Rugby on January 21.