Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel has tipped his side to leave their mark on the 2022/23 EPCR Challenge Cup after they were drawn against fellow Pool B contenders Aviron Bayonnais and Cheetahs during Tuesday’s draw in Dublin.  

The United Rugby Championship side will be lining up in the EPCR Challenge Cup again this season after playing in the Heineken Champions Cup during the previous two seasons. 

However, Scarlets’ performance in the Heineken Champions Cup in 2021/22 was heavily influenced by COVID-19, which caused their Pool B fixtures against Bristol Bears and Union Bordeaux-Bègles to be cancelled, but Peel is hopeful his side will have a better European campaign this time around.  

He said: “We were frustrated with how Europe panned out for us last season with Covid having a major impact on our campaign. We are looking forward to making a mark in the Challenge Cup.” 

Scarlets completed a double over Bayonne during the 2019/20 Challenge Cup, beating the French club 19-11 and 46-5, have faced Cheetahs on four previous occasions, recording three wins and one loss against the South Africans.  

Peel said: “It is an exciting draw for us. Bayonne have been promoted back to the TOP 14 and anyone who saw the celebrations after their play-off win shows how passionate a rugby city it is. 

“We know a bit about the Cheetahs after their time in the PRO14 and we also know from recent experience of playing South African sides in the URC that the games are going to be tough and they are going to be physical.”