Mark Mapletoft insists there will be no easy ride in Europe but the Quins camp are “happy and positive” following their Challenge Cup draw.

Quins have been drawn against Benetton Rugby, Agen and Grenoble ahead of next season’s European competition, with matches starting on October 12.

Fixtures will be confirmed later this summer and head coach Mapletoft believes the west Londoners are relishing the task at hand as they look to mount a successful tilt at the competition.

“Clearly there are no easy pools out there,” said Mapletoft. “But we are feeling happy and positive about the draw we have been given and looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“Obviously in the New Zealander Kieran Crowley, Benetton have a head coach with international experience and they have played in recent Champions Cup competitions so will know a lot about what it takes to compete at the top level in European rugby.

“They will be taking the competition very seriously, as we will, and I think we could have a couple of great contests with them.

“Agen  will be tough and uncompromising and we know they have a good history. So we will be taking their challenge incredibly seriously.

“And the club of course has great memories of our semi-final with Grenoble in 2016 when victory took us to yet another Challenge Cup final. So, we will need to be wary of what they can do but, as I say, we are happy with this draw.”