Leicester Tigers go into their make-or-break Sunday showdown against Toulouse at Welford Road boosted by England international lock Geoff Parling agreeing terms on a new contract to stay with the double Heineken Cup champions beyond the end of this season.
Four-times champions Toulouse are on 18 match points and the Tigers on 16 ahead of their winner-takes-all Pool 2 contest with the victor earning automatic quarter-final qualification.
Toulouse won their Round 1 contest 23-9 taking the French club 4-3 ahead in tournament head-to-heads and now Parling is set to be a key player in the Tigers trying to even that count up to four apiece.
"We told Geoff that he has always been part of our plans going forward and it is very good news that he has decided to stay with us," said Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill.
"He has been an important guy for us over the last four seasons and is now an established international player too.
"His decision shows the quality of the environment we have at Leicester Tigers and that plays a big part in players wanting to stay here. Geoff wants to continue to develop as a player and he agrees with us that he can do that best by playing for Leicester Tigers."
The 29-year-old Parling has made 60 appearances for Leicester Tigers, including the Premiership Final victory in 2010 and last year's final at Twickenham.
He joins fellow England internationals Tom and Ben Youngs, and Tigers forwards Graham Kitchener, Steve Mafi and Julian Salvi, in agreeing terms to contracts beyond this season.
As the dust settles on another fantastic ERC finals weekend listen to the post weekend reaction from Jonny Wilkinson, Delon Armitage, Vern Cotter, Sergio Parisse, Jamie Heaslip, Joe Schmidt and other key players.
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.
With the build-up to the Dublin 2013 European club rugby finals intensifying by the day, the four elite clubs of ASM Clermont Auvergne, Toulon, Leinster Rugby and Stade Francais Paris, who are focused on their quest for Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup silverware respectively, won't be the only clubs with Europe on their mind over the weekend of 17 and 18 May.
With eight leading clubs still in the race for coveted Dublin 2013 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup final berths, this weekend's European semi-finals will be watched keenly by Bath Rugby, Connacht Rugby and London Wasps among others as their hopes of qualification for the 2013/14 Heineken Cup hang in the balance.