The possibility of a new six-country European Cup competition taking place next season moved a step closer today following a meeting between representatives of the Six Nations Unions, the English and French clubs and Welsh regions.
Despite being ruled out of the remainder of the RBS 6 Nations with a fractured right forearm, Dan Tuohy is hopeful that he will be back in time for Ulster's Heineken Cup quarter-final against Saracens on Saturday, April 5.
Connacht had contrasting news from their ERC disciplinary hearings as young half Kieran Marmion was cleared to play for the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds this weekend, while New Zealander Nathan White was hit with a three-week ban for stamping.
Versatile back Keith Earls looks set to miss Ireland's entire RBS 6 Nations campaign after it was confirmed that he suffered a medial knee ligament injury during Munster's Heineken Cup round 6 victory over Edinburgh.
ERC Chairman Jean-Pierre Lux and Sky Sports analyst Scott Quinnell drew out the Heineken Cup semi-final pairings in Limerick this evening, and both Ulster and Leinster could have home advantage if they progress to the last-four.