10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
Portadown will have a new coach on board for the new provincial and AIB League season - none other than former All Blacks hooker Hika Reid.
The 48-year-old, who earned the last of his nine Test caps against Australia in 1986, paid a visit to the Chambers Park club last week and is set to be unveiled as their new head coach tomorrow night.
Reid, whose coaching posts have included stints with the New Zealand Maori, Bay of Plenty and Harlequins (forwards coach) and London Irish in England, will be hoping to lift the Armagh men out of the Division Three mire.
They needed a final day win over Queen's University to stave off relegation last season, but Portadown have already beefed up their squad for the new campaign with the arrival of ex-Ulster hooker Stephen Ritchie, scrum half Simon Cahill from Malone and two French recruits - one a centre and the other an out-half.
The appointment of Reid, who played in 31 non-Test matches for New Zealand, follows on from a consultancy report complied by former Ulster and Northampton coach Alan Solomons.