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.
The 12 clubs in England's top-flight voted for the move which will see Premiership clashes scheduled on the weekends when England are playing away during the Six Nations (February 14, February 21 and March 27).
Before this change was made to the fixtures list, there was an eight-week gap between matches which meant that some clubs would have virtually no major income during that period.
'By playing through the Six Nations we are able to ensure all the players have at least a week's recovery between each match,' said Howard Thomas, Chief Executive of Premier Rugby, the umbrella organisation of the 12 Zurich clubs.
'It also reduces the likelihood of having to further rearrange fixtures on the weekend of the European semi-finals.
'We were reluctant to change a fixture list which has already been issued but feel this was an excellent opportunity to improve the Rugby World Cup season for the benefit of the Premiership.'
The move follows the initiative taken last season when Premiership matches were played during England's autumn Test series with no adverse affect on club attendances.