The spotlight is firmly focused back on the Heineken Cup with teams from four nations still in the hunt to qualify for the Edinburgh 09 final at Murrayfield on Saturday, 23 May.
And, as far as Ireland is concerned, sixteen of their 2009 Grand Slam clinching squad - 11 from Munster and five from Leinster - could "warm up" for their vital Heineken Cup quarter-finals a week later when the provinces go head-to-head at Thomond Park on Saturday night in a potentially thunderous domestic showdown.
Eight days later Paul O'Connell's Munster, the defending Heineken Cup champions, face the Ospreys at the same venue while Brian O'Driscoll's Leinster, bidding to go a giant step closer to their first Heineken Cup final appearance, travel to the Twickenham Stoop to meet Harlequins in the last of the quarter-finals.
It will be double winners Munster's 100th Heineken Cup match as they join Toulouse in notching up a century of tournament games, Munster appearing in the knock-out stages for a record 10th successive season.
Meanwhile Cardiff Blues, who contested the first Heineken Cup final in 1996 as Cardiff RFC, are through to their first final as a region and will meet Gloucester Rugby in the climax of the EDF Energy Cup at Twickenham on 18 April.
That will be Part 3 for the teams this season, the Blues having already won home and away against Gloucester in the Pool stages of the Heineken Cup.
A week earlier the Blues will run out at another national ground when they clash with triple Heineken Cup champions Toulouse at the Millennium Stadium in the opening quarter-final.
Fellow Welsh region the Ospreys - already without the injured Gavin Henson - are sweating over the fitness of Lee Byrne and Ian Gough with Toulouse closely monitoring the recoveries of Byron Kelleher and Jean-Baptiste Elissalde.
Both Leicester Tigers and Bath Rugby - former Heineken Cup winners who collide in the all-England quarter-final at the Walkers Stadium - will be anxious to put last weekend's Guinness Premiership defeats behind them while Harlequins are on song after winning seven of their last eight matches in all tournaments.
And the matches could see over one million fans going through the turnstiles for the 52 quarter-finals spread over the last 13 seasons. So far 946,443 have been at the 48 quarter-finals with the 1,000,000 barrier set to be broken over the weekend of 11 / 12 April.
On top of that, the one million mark for a season could be cracked for the first time after the 72 Pool matches were watched by 880,480 supporters. The current high for a tournament is the 964,853 who were at the 79 matches in 2005/06.
The directors of ERC voted unanimously at a Board meeting to postpone all decisions including the release of further instalments of ERC's distributable central revenues to the six shareholder countries until 19 February next when the Board will meet again to reconsider the issue.