There is plenty at stake for all four Irish provinces heading into the final round of pool fixtures in the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.
Leinster have already qualified for the Champions Cup knockout stages but can secure home advantage for the round of 16 and beyond with victory over Racing 92 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Munster look set to join Leinster in the last 16 and could even clinch a home match in the next round, depending on how they fare against five-time winners Toulouse on Sunday, while Ulster also remain in contention despite losing all three pool matches to date. They host Sale Sharks in Belfast on Saturday.
Connacht are guaranteed a spot in the Challenge Cup knockouts and travel to Newcastle on Saturday knowing a positive result will ensure they are playing at the Sportsground in the next round.
Leinster v Racing 92 is live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 2.30 on Saturday (kick-off 3.15pm).
Ulster v Sale Sharks (Saturday, 8pm) and Toulouse v Munster (Sunday, 3.15pm) are live on BT Sport.
Newcastle Falcons v Connacht (Saturday, 5.15pm) is live on epcrugby.tv.
Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 will have live commentary of Leinster v Racing 92.
Follow our live blogs on rte.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app with match reports and reaction from around the grounds.
Conditions look ideal for Leinster's meeting with Racing 92 at the Aviva Stadium, where temperatures of around 8C are forecast. There is the chance of the odd rain shower, though.
It should also be dry for Ulster’s evening kick-off with Sale Sharks at Kingspan Stadium, with temperatures of around 7C and a moderate southerly breeze.
Colder conditions are predicted for Connacht’s trip to Kingston Park to face Newcastle Falcons. There will be a real feel of -3C come kick-off.
It will also be chilly at Stade Ernest Wallon for Toulouse’s game with Munster. A high of 3C is forecast with winds of up to 30km/h.
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Leinster are the only side to have taken maximum points from their first three pool matches, while they also top the charts for tries scored (22) and fewest conceded (3).
It is 15 wins from 15 games in all competitions this season for Leo Cullen’s men, who were far too strong for Gloucester last weekend despite some struggles at the set-piece and wasteful visits to the opposition 22.
Leinster’s in-form centre Jamie Osborne, who was named in Ireland's Six Nations squad, beat the most defenders in round three (8), while Caelan Doris leads the try assist charts (5) after creating another two at Kingsholm.
Racing’s form fell off a cliff following their 42-10 defeat to Leinster in round one. Having entered that game on a five-game winning streak, they then went five games without a victory.
The Parisians broke that winless run in crazy fashion against Harlequins, Nolann Le Garrec’s 77th-minute penalty snatching a 30-29 success despite Racing having only 12 men on the pitch for the closing stages.
That win kept them alive in the Champions Cup and they have named a strong line-up for their trip to Dublin, with Finn Russell retained at out-half. The Scotland international conceded five turnovers and was sin-binned against Quins, although Racing won three of his seven restarts.
Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose (capt), Jamie Osborne, Jimmy O’Brien; Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher, Michael Ala’alatoa; Joe McCarthy, James Ryan; Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Michael Milne, Cian Healy, Ross Molony, Ryan Baird, Luke McGrath, Harry Byrne, Scott Penny.
Racing 92: Warrick Gelant; Christian Wade, Olivier Klemenczak, Gael Fickou (capt), Louis Doupichot; Finn Russell, Nolann Le Garrac; Eddy Ben Arous, Janick Tarrit, Trevor Nyakane; Baptiste Chouzenoux, Boris Palou; Wenceslas Lauret, Mahamadou Coulibaly, Kitione Kamikamica.
Replacements: Péniami Narisia, Guram Gogichashvili, Gia Kharaishvili, Anthime Hemery, Maxime Baudonne, Antoine Gibert, Francis Saili, Max Spring.
Referee: Matthew Carley (England).
After three last-gasp losses in as many weeks, and six defeats in their last seven matches, Ulster’s season is plunging into crisis. Yet they still have a chance of reaching the Champions Cup knockouts.
Should Clermont Auvernge lose away to the DHL Stormers earlier on Saturday, an Ulster victory over Sale will be enough to book their place in the next round.
There will need to be major improvements in attack if Ulster are to return to winning ways. They have made the fewest metres in the Champions Cup (577), beaten the fewest defenders (25), made the fewest clean breaks (three) and are the lowest offloaders (8).
Having been omitted for Ulster's heartbreaking loss in La Rochelle, Ireland pair James Hume and Stuart McCloskey are restored to the midfield, where they will be tasked with limiting Manu Tuilagi's influence. Billy Burns is also back at out-half but Iain Henderson missed out due to concussion so academy back row Harry Sheridan makes his full debut.
Sale stuffed Ulster 39-0 in round one but back-to-back losses to Toulouse means they are also in must-win territory. Just two points separate the sides in Pool B, Ulster having closed the gap thanks to the three bonus points they collected against La Rochelle.
Ulster: Michael Lowry; Rob Lyttle, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, Nathan Doak; Andy Warwick, Tom Stewart, Jeff Toomaga-Allen; Alan O’Connor (capt), Sam Carter; Harry Sheridan, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Ian Madigan, Ben Moxham.
Sale Sharks: Joe Carpenter; Tom O’Flaherty, Sam James, Manu Tuilagi, Arron Reed; Robert du Preez, Fergus Warr; Bevan Ross, Ewan Ashman, James Harper; Josh Beaumont, Jonny Hill; Jono Ross, Ben Curry (capt), Jean-Luc du Preez.
Replacements: Tommy Taylor, Ross Harrison, Joe Jones, Roubs Birch, Sam Dugdale, Raffi Quirke, Thomas Curtis, Thomas Roebuck.
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France).
Munster could find themselves through to the last 16 before they run onto the pitch at Stade Ernest Wallon for the penultimate match of the pool stages.
If any of Clermont Auvergne, Montpellier or Sale Sharks are beaten, Munster’s passage to the next round will be confirmed. The focus would then shift to trying to secure a home tie.
Toulouse and Munster have become familiar foes of late. This will be their fourth meeting in three seasons, with Toulouse targeting a clean sweep of victories. Last season’s quarter-final was technically a draw but the French side still progressed after winning the place-kicking competition.
Toulouse emerged victorious from the Thomond Park fog in December when the power of their pack, coupled with Antoine Dupont’s game-management, saw them come from behind to win 18-13.
Their imposing lock Emmanuel Meafou made 33 metres post-contact during last weekend’s win at Sale, while hooker Julian Marchand won four turnovers. They also possess an able replacement for suspended full-back Thomas Ramos in Melvyn Jaminet, who kicked 17 points against the Sharks.
Toulouse are strong favourites to make it four wins from four and potentially top Pool B, but Munster are a side growing in confidence and travel to France on the back of three successive wins over Ulster, Emirates Lions and Northampton.
Toulouse: Melvyn Jaminet; Juan Cruz Mallía, Pierre-Louis Barassi, Pita Ahki, Dimitri Delibes; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (capt); Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Dorian Aldegheri; Richie Arnold, Emmanuel Meafou; Anthony Jelonch, Jack Willis, Alexandre Roumat.
Replacements: Guillaume Cramont, Rodrigue Neti, David Ainu’u, Thibaud Flament, Joshua Brennan, Francois Cros, Ange Capuozzo, Arthur Retiere.
Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Antoine Frisch, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly; Joey Carbery, Craig Casey; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (capt), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.
Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Josh Wycherley, Roman Salanoa, Jack O’Sullivan, Alex Kendellen, Conor Murray, Ben Healy, Malakai Fekitoa.
Referee: Karl Dickson (England).
Connacht’s quest for a home tie in the next round of the Challenge Cup was made easier by Bristol Bears being docked five points for fielding an ineligible player.
It means a losing bonus point will be enough to ensure Andy Friend’s side are back at the Sportsground for their last-16 tie.
Connacht have won all three pool matches while Newcastle have zero points to their name after three successive defeats. However, the ludicrous format of the pool stages means the Falcons could yet qualify for the knockout stages.
With that in mind, Newcastle have named a strong line-up that includes Argentina flier Mateo Carreras, who is the leading tryscorer in the English Premiership with 11, as well as fellow Puma Matias Orlando and England international hooker Jamie Blamire.
Newcastle Falcons: Alex Tait; Ben Stevenson, Matias Orlando, Peter Lucock, Mateo Carreras; Tian Schoeman, Micky Young (capt); Logovi’I Mulipola, Jamie Blamire, Trevor Davison; Greg Peterson, Sebastian de Chaves; Gary Graham, Philip van der Walt, Carl Fearns.
Replacements: Charlie Maddison, Adam Brocklebank, Richard Palframan, Freddie Lockwood, Pedro Rubiolo, Josh Barton, Josh Thomas, Adam Radwan.
Connacht: Mack Hansen; Adam Byrne, Byron Ralston, Cathal Forde, Alex Wootton; Conor Fitzgerald, Colm Reilly; Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham; Leva Fifita, Josh Murphy; Shamus Hurley-Langton, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler (capt).
Replacements: Dylan Tierney-Martin, Jordan Duggan, Jack Aungier, Darragh Murray, Ciaran Booth, Caolin Blade, Tom Daly, Tom Farrell.
Referee: Pierre-Baptiste Nuchy (France).
Watch Leinster v Racing 92 in the Champions Cup on Saturday from 2.30pm on RTÉ2 and RTE Player with live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the RTÉ News app. Listen to live commentary on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1.