WORCESTER Warriors will come up against former boss Dean Ryan in next season's European Challenge Cup.

Dragons are one of the sides drawn in Pool One alongside Warriors with Ryan taking over as director of rugby at the Newport-based Pro-14 side at the start of next month.

Worcester will also tackle French Top 14 side Castres and Russian outfit Enisei-STM who qualified through last season’s European Continental Shield.

Ryan had an eventful three years at Sixways after his appointment in 2013 with relegation from the Premiership and promotion back from the Championship alongside a British and Irish Cup success.

He stunned the club and fans by leaving Worcester in June 2016 to eventually join the Rugby Football Union as head of international player development.

Former England number eight Ryan, 52, will also have a role on the board at Dragons after agreeing to move from the RFU last month.

Warriors drew Dragons and Enisei-STM in the same pool in the 2016-17 Challenge Cup, beating both at Sixways but losing on the road.

Castres will become the 13th French club Warriors have played in European competition.

They were losing finalists in the competition in 2000 and beaten semi-finalists in the Heineken Cup two years later.

Pool matches will be played over the weekends of November 15/16/17, November 22/23/24, December 6/7/8, December 13/14/15, January 10/11/12 and January 17/18/19.

The quarter-finals will be on April 3/4/5, the semis on May 1/2/3 and the final at Stade de Marseille in France on May 22.

Warriors kick off the 2019-20 season with the traditional Premiership Rugby Sevens at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens on September 13 and 14.

The fixtures will be announced on July 15.