London Welsh captain Jonathan Mills admits it is an exciting prospect to be preparing for a mouthwatering debut in European competition.
This time last year, the Exiles were set for a home Championship clash against Rotherham. On Saturday, Paris glamour club Stade Francais will be their opponents in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
The Pool Five encounter at the Kassam Stadium represents another red-letter day for the Exiles, who have already collected 10 Aviva Premiership points this season following victories over Exeter and Sale Sharks, plus two losing bonuses.
"It is amazing to be playing in Europe and it is great to be coming up against such a great European team as Stade Francais," Mills said.
"It will be fantastic going to places like Paris and Grenoble and Prato in Italy - quite a difference from places like Rotherham and Doncaster, where we were playing last year.
"It is a big plus for us to start with a home game, and if we can get a result then that will set us up for the rest of the pool stages.
"Winning your home games is crucial, and with just the five group winners qualifying for the quarter-finals we know we will have to pick up some points on the road."
Coach Lyn Jones has rung the changes following a busy period of Premiership action, but Wales international Gavin Henson is retained at fly-half for his second start in Exiles colours.
London Irish also face French opposition on Saturday, having experienced a rollercoaster ride during the opening weeks of a season that saw them concede 40 points to three different Premiership opponents, but also end league leaders Northampton's unbeaten run.
Irish travel to Bordeaux in Pool One, and rugby director Brian Smith believes the emphatic victory over Saints last weekend should not be underestimated.
"Northampton was a big challenge for us because confidence wasn't high, but the boys really fronted-up," he said.
"Northampton are tough and good enough to bully a lot of teams. The pack we played against, along with Leicester's, are the best in the league.
"They came for us and we were fortunate enough to shut them down. Now, we have to crack on and it is important we take momentum with us into the Challenge Cup."
Worcester make the trip to Spain on Saturday for a Pool Two appointment with tournament newcomers Gernika, but it is not a journey into the unknown that most Warriors fans might have expected.
"We have had some intelligence from Mark Hewitt (Warriors academy manager) from his time in Spain, and also a friend of mine in France has been to watch them a number of times and reported back," Worcester head coach Richard Hill said.
"We will give them a huge amount of respect and we have picked a strong team with players who have been on the fringes during the first six league games.
"The team we send to Spain is highly-motivated and will perform.
"We want to do well in this competition, and that starts from day one. We start away in Spain and then play Rovigo at home. We need to win those games and set ourselves up for the Perpignan double header in December."
Wing Andy Short and flanker Jake Abbott both return from injuries, and England international scrum-half Paul Hodgson makes his first start since joining Worcester from Irish.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Bath head to Bucharest in Pool Four, while Wasps will be favourites for an opening Pool Three success against Adams Park visitors Newport Gwent Dragons.
Bath boss Gary Gold hands a debut to club academy fly-half Ollie Devoto in a team captained by flanker Ben Skirving, while there are also opportunities for wing Olly Woodburn, lock Will Spencer and number eight Will Skuse.
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