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.
Ian Costello's Munster 'A' side will launch the defence of their title away to Plymouth Albion on Saturday. In the other Pool 7 tie, Aberavon will welcome Rotherham to the Talbot Athletic Ground.
Munster 'A' became the first Irish province to win the British & Irish Cup with a 31-12 final win over Cross Keys at Musgrave Park last April. Earlier in the knockout stages, they beat both Ulster Ravens (20-9) and Leinster 'A' (36-29).
There are eight Anglo-Welsh ties this weekend, including the meeting of Cardiff and Bristol - the revival of one of the oldest rivalries in club rugby which stretches back 124 years.
Ulster Ravens are in Pool 1 alongside Cardiff and Bristol and will host Welsh side Bridgend in their opener on Saturday afternoon.
Connacht Eagles' debut in the competition will see them battling it out in Pool 4 which contains last year's runners-up Cross Keys, Newcastle Falcons and Newport.
Nigel Carolan's men, who recently claimed back-to-back wins over Munster 'A', will venture to Newport on Saturday for their first game.
Meanwhile, Leinster 'A' will get their campaign underway at home to Leeds Carnegie in Pool 5 on Saturday night. The pool is completed by Jersey and Pontypridd.
The 2012/13 tournament will be played over nine weekends throughout the season, with all of the fixtures taking place on weekend dates. There will be one leg ties for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
BRITISH & IRISH CUP OPENING FIXTURES:
Pool 1 -
Cardiff v Bristol, Saturday, October, 13, 2.30pm
Ulster Ravens v Bridgend, Saturday, October 13, 2.30pm
Pool 2 -
Bedwas v Bedford Blues, Saturday, October 13, 2.30pm
Stirling v Neath, Saturday, October 13, 3pm
Pool 3 -
Swansea v Dundee, Saturday, October 13, 2.30pm
Cornish Pirates v Carmarthen, Sunday, October 14, 3pm
Pool 4 -
Newport v Connacht Eagles, Saturday, October 13, 2.30pm
Newcastle Falcons v Cross Keys, Saturday, October 13, 3pm
Pool 5 -
Jersey v Pontypridd, Saturday, October 13, 3pm
Leinster 'A' v Leeds Carnegie, Saturday, October 13, 7pm
Pool 6 -
Gala v London Scottish, Saturday, October 13, 3pm
Moseley v Llanelli, Saturday, October 13, 3pm
Pool 7 -
Aberavon v Rotherham Titans, Saturday, October 13, 2.20pm
Plymouth Albion v Munster 'A', Saturday, October 13, 3pm
Pool 8 -
Doncaster Knights v Melrose, Saturday, October 13, 2.30pm
Llandovery v Nottingham, Saturday, October 13, 3pm
2011/12 - Munster 'A'
2010/11 - Bristol
2009/10 - Cornish Pirates