18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
Tournament organisers ERC and their broadcast partners today (Tuesday, 19 July) announced the dates, kick-off times and the televised matches for the first three rounds of the 11th Heineken Cup tournament.
The Sky Sports cameras will be at four of the venues, including the opening match of the tournament when Sale Sharks host Munster at Edgeley Park on the Friday night. (19.30 kick-off)
Sky Sports will broadcast Cardiff Blues against Leeds Tykes and the Ospreys' clash with Stade Français Paris on the Saturday and complete the first weekend at Murrayfield when Edinburgh Gunners take on 2004 Heineken Cup winners London Wasps at Sunday lunchtime.
A record nine of the 12 Round 1 matches will be televised live with RTE showing Leinster against Bath Rugby; Sport+ the contests between Castres Olympique and Newport Gwent Dragons as well as Bourgoin against Glasgow Warriors and Sky Italia Rugby Calvisano's showdown with Perpignan.
And eight matches will be televised live in Round 2 the following weekend and nine of the Round 3 contests on the weekend of 9 / 10 / 11 December.
All 24 clubs competing in the Heineken Cup will have featured in live televisions games by Round 3.
In a new addition to the tournaments' broadcast platform, S4C in Wales will broadcast comprehensive highlights of matches on Saturday, Sunday and Monday evenings involving the four Welsh teams and of a selection of other matches in each round.
"This is unprecedented television coverage for the tournament - our broadcast partners will bring more and more of the colour, passion and excitement from across Europe's premier club rugby tournament to the developing fan base. The previous highest number of matches on a Pool weekend was eight - and this clearly demonstrates the enhanced stature and high esteem in which the Heineken Cup is held," said ERC Chief Executive Derek McGrath.
"More than 12 hours of live television action over a weekend represents fantastic exposure for all our stakeholders - the member Unions and participating clubs, our partners and rugby supporters across Europe."
POOL 1: Munster, Castres Olympique, Sale Sharks, Newport Gwent Dragons
POOL 2: Rugby Calvisano, Perpignan, Leeds Tykes, Cardiff Blues
POOL 3: Ospreys, Stade Français Paris, Leicester Tigers, ASM Clermont Auvergne
POOL 4: Biarritz Olympique, Saracens, Ulster, Benetton Treviso
POOL 5: Glasgow Warriors, Bourgoin, Bath Rugby, Leinster
POOL 6: London Wasps, Toulouse, Llanelli Scarlets, Edinburgh Gunners