Johann Muller and Rory Best are poised to provide unbeaten Ulster Rugby with a double boost ahead of their key Heineken Cup Pool 4 double header against Northampton Saints next month.
Both clubs are former European champions and go head-to-head under the Franklin's Gardens floodlights in Round 3 on Friday, 7 December, with Ulster on nine points and the Saints on six points. The return tie will be played at Ravenhill eight days later.
Influential captain and former Springbok lock Muller picked up a thumb injury in the Heineken Cup win over Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun last month but is ready to resume action.
Former Ulster skipper Best has been sidelined with a neck injury suffered against Newport Gwent Dragons but has recovered well and could return to action earlier than expected.
Ireland squad members Dan Tuohy, Iain Henderson, Luke Marshall, Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson and Darren Cave are also available.
Chris Henry and Ruan Pienaar have earned a week off after playing in all three November internationals for Ireland and South Africa respectively, but both will return for the challenging Heineken Cup tests against the Saints.
And Paddy Wallace, having played a lot of rugby in recent weeks, is also rested ahead of the European contests.
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Following an investigation by ERC Disciplinary Officer, Roger O'Connor, into the registration of the London Welsh player, Tyson Keats, for the 2012/13 Amlin Challenge Cup, a misconduct complaint has been made against London Welsh.
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon) has been named ERC European Player of the Year 2013. The prestigious award crowns an outstanding season for the out-half who led the French club to a dramatic Heineken Cup final victory over ASM Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.