The inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup is set to explode into action in mid-October with two compelling weekends of heavyweight clashes between European club rugby's professional elite. Leinster, Munster and Ulster will all face English opponents in the opening round.
A number of players will make their final home appearances for Connacht, including departing backs Gavin Duffy, Eoin Griffin Dan Parks and Frank Murphy, as they look to climb above Cardiff Blues in the RaboDirect PRO12 standings.
Munster have an opportunity to vault back into second place in the RaboDirect PRO12 when they visit provincial rivals Connacht, but the home side still have the target of their best ever league finish (seventh or higher).
Ulster's prolific backs treated a sold-out Ravenhill to a try bonanza, running in eight tries against provincial rivals Connacht - including a hat-trick from Andrew Trimble - in the best possible response to last weekend's bitter Heineken Cup disappointment.
With Ulster pressing for a league play-off place and Connacht battling to qualify for the newly-announced European Rugby Champions Cup, there is plenty riding on tonight's RaboDirect PRO12 derby at Ravenhill.