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.
Eddie O'Sullivan's Ireland side will play Scotland and Italy in two friendly internationals in August of next year as part of their preparations for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
The Irish will travel to Murrayfield to face the much-improved Scots on Saturday, August 11, 2007 (kick-off time to be confirmed), while, with Lansdowne Road out of action, O'Sullivan's charges will entertain Italy at Ravenhill over the weekend of August 24-26 (date and kick-off time to be confirmed).
Similar to the warm-up games for the 2003 World Cup when Ireland faced the Italians at Thomond Park, Ireland will be playing a home international outside of Lansdowne Road.
The last full international played at the Belfast ground was against Scotland on February 27, 1954 when the Ireland team, captained by J.S. McCarthy, won 6-0.
Commenting on the announcement, Ulster Rugby Chief Executive Michael Reid said: "To have an international being played at Ravenhill is a huge boost for the game of rugby in Ulster. The recent success of the Ulster team (in winning the Celtic League) and also the growth of the game in the province and throughout Ireland should ensure a magnificent send off for the Irish team in advance of the World Cup."
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: "With Lansdowne Road and Thomond Park both scheduled to be out of commission due to redevelopment, Ravenhill offers the best alternative venue for the game.
"Similar to the last time we played Italy in a friendly international, the capacity in Ravenhill should be sufficient to cope with the expected demand."
The games against Scotland and Italy will be the final fixtures of a 12-match schedule for Ireland leading up to their opening World Cup tie against the African qualifying team in Bordeaux, France on September 9.
In addition to the brace of warm-up games, O'Sullivan's men will play three internationals against South Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands this coming November, five games in the 2007 RBS 6 Nations Championship and then two games against Argentina as part of next summer's tour.