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.
Following their back-to-back wins over Montferrand, Leinster just need to beat Swansea in Donnybrook to book their place in the knock-out stages and a win then in Bristol would ensure them home advantage.
Munster and Ulster both face a tough run-in, in their respective groups. If Munster win in Perpignan they'll have eight points which might get them through as a best runner-up. In truth they need to win that one and then beat Gloucester in Thomond Park to be sure of their fifth consecutive quarter-final placing.
Ulster find themselves in the most competitive pool and with two games to play their task is very clear - they have to win their last two matches and then keep fingers crossed. Northampton hold the whip-hand in that they have the best try count but they certainly won't relish the trip to Ravenhill on January 17th. They should arrive with a total of 8 points - assuming they've beaten Biarritz a week earlier - to take on a home side who should have 6, in turn assuming they've beaten Cardiff at the Arms Park. With their great support behind them and memories of previous famous victories (Stade Francais, Toulouse and most recently Biarritz), Ulster can axact revenge for the defeat in Franklin's Gardens. But even then they'll have to wait until the following afternoon to see what transpires in the south of France where Biarritz play Cardiff.