LONDON Irish will travel to Russia for the first time in the club’s illustrious history after they were drawn in Pool 4 of the European Rugby Challenge Cup alongside Krasny Yar.

The Exiles will make the 4,500 mile trip to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, a remote city which is the beating heart of Russian rugby.

Closer to China than mainland Europe, this Russian outpost will test Nick Kennedy’s men to the limit as their European adventure reconvenes following a year’s absence from the competition.

Irish’s other opponents are last season’s Challenge Cup winners Stade Français Paris and Pro12 outfit Edinburgh Rugby.

Stade Francais missed out on a Champions Cup spot after they were narrowly beaten by Northampton Saints in the end of season play-off.

Next season’s Challenge Cup victors will automatically qualify for European Rugby’s premier competition and the first games are in October.