The 2015/16 European Champions Cup will kick off in style when Leicester Tigers host Stade Francais in a mouthwatering round 1 clash at Welford Road on Friday, November 13. The Pool 4 meeting of the two-time winners and the reigning Top 14 champions - live on BT Sport - is just one of a number of heavyweight confrontations scheduled for the opening weekend of Europe's elite club tournament.
Munster have signed Australian second row Mark Chisholm on a two-year contract. The Bayonne player will join the province subject to being granted a valid work permit and obtaining medical and fitness clearance.
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.