Beaten semi-finalists this past season, Leinster have been handed the stiffest of draws in the 2015/16 European Champions Cup - they have reigning European champions Toulon, Aviva Premiership runners-up Bath and resurgent Wasps for company in Pool 5.
The IRFU and Munster Rugby can today confirm that Paul O'Connell will retire from international rugby at the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The Ireland captain will be released from his IRFU Munster contract once Ireland's participation at the tournament is completed.
Connacht's quest to qualify for next season's European Champions Cup takes them back to Kingsholm on Sunday where they will be gunning for revenge against their Challenge Cup conquerors from earlier in the season, Gloucester.
Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip is in the running for the EPCR European Player of the Year award for 2015. He has been included on the shortlist with players from Champions Cup finalists Clermont Auvergne and Toulon and beaten semi-finalists Saracens.
Leinster have shown themselves to be more than capable of overcoming the odds by winning big European knockout games in France, and that is the task facing Matt O'Connor's men when they take on defending champions Toulon in Marseille on Sunday.
After training at the RDS this morning, Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor has announced his team to take on Toulon in Sunday's European Champions Cup semi-final in Marseille (kick-off 4.15pm local time/3.15pm Irish time).
Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor has today confirmed that 27 players have signed new IRFU contracts to continue playing with the province for 2015/16 and beyond, while a further four players have been added to the Leinster squad.
Munster Rugby have confirmed the signing of Auckland Blues centre Francis Saili on a two-year contract. The 24 year-old has made 33 Super Rugby appearances for the Blues, scoring five tries, and represented Auckland in the ITM Cup on 31 occasions.
Toulon and Leinster, who between them have won the last four European Cup titles, will have a Sunday semi-final showdown in Marseille to determine who will be at Twickenham on May 2 looking for another prestigious European crown.
Leinster head coach Matt O'Connor was relieved to see his side edge out Bath 18-15 this afternoon to reach the semi-finals of the European Champions Cup. Captain Jamie Heaslip said it was 'right up there with the internationals' as 'one of the fastest, toughest games we've played all season'.