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.
The players will train at the University of Limerick over the next few days before Friday's announcement of the squads for Ireland's RBS 6 Nations opener against France (February 7) and the Ireland 'A' team's clash with England Saxons (February 6).
The starting line-ups and replacements for the senior and 'A' games will be confirmed by the Irish management on Tuesday week (February 3) in Dublin, where the players will assemble next Sunday.
The mood in camp will undoubtedly be boosted by the fact that three of the provinces have reached the quarter-final stages in Europe - Munster and Leinster in the Heineken Cup and Connacht in the Challenge cup - and Ulster's recent resurgence has also seen a number of their players make Kidney's championship squad.