The 2015/16 GUINNESS PRO12 campaign will kick off on Friday, September 4 with last season's beaten semi-finalists - Ulster and the Ospreys - going head-to-head at Kingspan Stadium, and Leinster visiting Edinburgh.
The draw for this year's Limerick World Club 7s tournament at Thomond Park took place earlier today, with all four Irish provinces taking part for the first time. Notably, Connacht and Ulster have been drawn together in Pool C.
Beaten semi-finalists this past season, Leinster have been handed the stiffest of draws in the 2015/16 European Champions Cup - they have reigning European champions Toulon, Aviva Premiership runners-up Bath and resurgent Wasps for company in Pool 5.
Ulster fell at the penultimate hurdle in the GUINNESS PRO12 play-offs for the second year in a row, losing tonight's semi-final by two points to Glasgow Warriors who qualify for their second consecutive final.
Ulster's three previous GUINNESS PRO12 visits to Scotstoun Stadium have all ended in defeat, but with a reinforced starting line-up the province looked well placed to gain revenge on Glasgow Warriors in Friday's semi-final showdown.
Ulster head coach Neil Doak has made 11 changes to the side that lost to Glasgow Warriors last weekend for Friday night's GUINNESS PRO12 semi-final against the same opposition at Scotstoun Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm).
Ulster hooker Rob Herring appeared today before an independent PRO12 Rugby disciplinary committee, having been cited by an independent citing commissioner for allegedly stamping on an opponent's head (Law 10.4(b)) in last Saturday's GUINNESS PRO12 match against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium.
One Ulsterman who has already picked up silverware this season. Craig Gilroy lifted the award for Try of the Season at last Sunday's GUINNESS PRO12 awards and now he has his eyes set on a bigger prize.
Ospreys scrum half Rhys Webb won the Players' Player of the Season award and his Edinburgh counterpart Sam Hidalgo-Clyne was selected as the Young Player of the Season at the GUINNESS PRO12 Awards evening in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin tonight.
Ulster will return to Scotstoun Stadium next Friday night for an intriguing GUINNESS PRO12 play-off after they lost their last regular season game against Glasgow while Munster and the Ospreys both won.
Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey believes they 'can go anywhere and win', a theory which may well be tested in the GUINNESS PRO12 play-offs as they have opted to field a largely second string side against Glasgow Warriors in Saturday's final round.
Ulster forward Iain Henderson appeared today before an independent PRO12 Rugby disciplinary committee, following the red card he received for striking with the head in last Saturday's GUINNESS PRO12 match against Munster at Kingspan Stadium.
Three Ulster players, two from Munster and two from Connacht have been selected in this season's GUINNESS PRO12 Dream Team which was voted on by a media panel of 11 journalists from all four countries. The panel was chaired by Diageo's Rory Sheridan.
14-man Ulster saw out the regular GUINNESS PRO12 season unbeaten at home with a 23-23 draw against Munster at a sold-out Kingspan Stadium, keeping alive their hopes of hosting a play-off in two weeks' time.
The result of Saturday's eagerly-awaited interprovincial clash could prove crucial in deciding who has home advantage in the GUINNESS PRO12 play-offs. Will it be business as usual for Ulster in Belfast, or can Munster take a step closer to a top two finish?