THE Dragons will start their European Challenge Cup campaign with a must-win clash in Romania.

Bernard Jackman's side have been drawn in a tough group with Euro heavyweights Clermont Auvergne and Northampton.

However, they start the tournament against minnows Timisoara Saracens at Dan Paltinisanu Stadium on Saturday, October 13 (kick-off 2.30pm).

They have a swift turnaround to the fixture with the Saints at Rodney Parade – with home fixtures vital in such a tough group – on Friday, October 19 (kick-off 7.30pm).

Like last season, the Dragons do not have a December double-header, instead facing the daunting trips to Northampton and Clermont.

They entertain the Romanians in round five and will hope to be playing for qualification in the mouth-watering game against Clermont to finish.

European Challenge Cup fixtures

Saturday, October 13: Timisoara Saracens v Dragons 2.30pm

Friday, October 19: Dragons v Northampton 7.30pm

Saturday, December 8: Northampton v Dragons 3pm

Saturday, December 15: Clermont v Dragons 2pm

Friday, January 11: Dragons v Timisoara Saracens 7.30pm

Friday, January 18: Dragons v Clermont 7.45pm