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 are understandably upset that, because of television scheduling, the majority of their home Magners League fixtures before the year's end have been scheduled for Saturday nights.
The reigning League champions, whose average gate rose by 37 percent to 9,182 last season, have been very successful at drawing in the crowds to their Ravenhill home.
Friday night rugby has become commonplace in Belfast in recent seasons, and officials are now concerned that the enforced move to Saturday will not only hit gate receipts, but also have an effect on attendances at local club games.
An Ulster Branch statement, as quoted in the Belfast Telegraph, said: "As well as potentially having serious financial implications on crowd figures and gate income at Ravenhill, it is anticipated that our amateur clubs will also suffer."
Presently, four of the province's six League games at Ravenhill, scheduled before the end of 2006, will not be played on Friday nights - only the September 22 clash with the 2005 champions the Ospreys has been confirmed for a Friday, while the early November meeting with the Borders is also likely to be played on a Friday.
For a province that has been the League's best supported team for the past three seasons, they deserve much better treatment.