10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Ulster climbed back to the top of the Magners League table as they shared out five tries with Connacht in their 24-17 triumph at the Sportsground.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, October 6
CONNACHT 17 ULSTER 24, The Sportsground (Att: 1,687)
Scorers: Connacht: Tries: Paul Warwick, Matt Mostyn; Cons: Warwick 2; Pen: Warwick
Ulster: Tries: Roger Wilson, Isaac Boss, Bryn Cunningham; Cons: David Humphreys 2, Paddy Wallace; Pen: Humphreys
The league champions ventured west seeking revenge for last season's 22-12 defeat at the hands of Connacht, and they looked like getting it in spades when they moved into a 24-0 lead.
Tries from Roger Wilson, Isaac Boss and Bryn Cunningham had the visitors in sight of a bonus point win but a showy late cameo from Australian Paul Warwick, who grabbed a try, two conversions and an injury-time penalty kick, which he thumped over from just inside halfway, salvaged a point for the home side.
Backed by a forceful wind, Ulster dominated possession and territory in the first half, yet they failed to make it pay on the scoreboard. Five times they were held up close to the Connacht line as number eight Wilson and Ireland winger Andrew Trimble pierced their way through the hosts' defence.
After a flurry of penalties, Connacht lost number eight Colm Rigney to the sin-bin on the half-hour mark, for killing the ball, and Wilson took a pop pass off the resultant scrum to barge over and score.
David Humphreys converted and after Connacht's eighth penalty concession of the half, the former Ireland fly-half arrowed over a late penalty for a 10-0 interval lead.
Ulster's second try came again after Connacht had gone down to 14 men - number 10 Mark McHugh was the offender this time for slowing up ball.
Burly flanker Stephen Ferris made the initial break for Boss' 56th-minute try, with deft hands from Kevin Maggs putting the New Zealand-born scrum half over in the left corner.
Humphreys' conversion was stunningly accurate, as was Paddy Wallace's after Cunningham, on a long jaunt from full-back, had cut through for Ulster's third touchdown.
By that time Connacht had lost their third player to the sin-bin - replacement Ted Robinson was rightly carded for a spear tackle on Humphreys - but the westerners' late revival, with both Warwick and full-back Matt Mostyn weaving through for tries, still snatched them a bonus point.
Just reward for their never-say-die attitude and their misfortune against Leinster last week.
Connacht: Daniel Riordan; Matt Mostyn, Darren Yapp, Gavin Williams, Keith Matthews; Mark McHugh, Chris Keane; Brett Wilkinson, John Fogarty (capt), Ray Hogan, David Gannon, Andrew Farley, John Muldoon, Ray Ofisa, Colm Rigney.
Replacements used: Adrian Flavin for Fogarty, Brett Sturgess for Hogan (both 46 mins), Ted Robinson for Matthews (51), Paul Warwick for Rigney (57), Tom Tierney for Keane (61), Matt Lacey for McHugh (66), Michael Swift for Gannon (77).
Ulster: Bryn Cunningham; Andrew Maxwell, Kevin Maggs, Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble; David Humphreys, Isaac Boss; Justin Fitzpatrick, Rory Best, Bryan Young, Justin Harrison (capt), Matt McCullough, Neil Best, Stephen Ferris, Roger Wilson.
Replacements used: Scott Young for Humphreys (67 mins), Kieron Dawson for Ferris, Tim Barker for Harrison (both 72), Declan Fitzpatrick for Young (76), Paul Shields for R Best (78), Neil McMillan for N Best (79), Kieran Campbell for Boss (80).
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)