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.
"A good performance against Bath will then set us up for the rest of the competition.
"We will travel away to Edinburgh with confidence. Both sides know each other very well, and we know we can win at Murrayfield."
The northern province will hope to play their way into contention in Pool 4, with those first-up clashes with Bath and Edinburgh before they face familiar European foes Stade Francais in the back-to-back pre-Christmas encounters.
"Last season was disappointing against Stade, but by the time we meet in December, we will have been playing competitive rugby for a number of months, so will have ironed out any issues and be at our best heading into the back-to-back rounds with Stade," added the former Ireland skills coach.
January will see the pool conclude for McLaughlin's men with a 'must-win home game' against Edinburgh and a trip to the Recreation Ground to take on Bath.
"Each of these teams are very strong and have all finished in the top four of their respective home leagues, so we can take nothing for granted.
"We have to put the work in and give the best performances we can. If we do that, we should get the results from it."