Three nations are represented in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals with ASM Clermont Auvergne and Toulon of France, Saracens from England and Irish province, Munster Rugby, booking their places in the last four after a pulsating knockout weekend in the world's most competitive club rugby tournament.
As the build-up intensifies to the semi-finals at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier and at Twickenham Stadium later this month, there is a chance of a new name being inscribed on the coveted trophy given that Munster - in 2006 and 2008 - are the only previous champions among the elite qualifiers.
On the back of a dominant pool stage performance, Clermont, now the only unbeaten side left in the tournament, duly delivered in a first quarter-final match to be staged at Stade Marcel-Michelin by registering a phenomenal 58th home victory in all competitions with a five-try 36-14 success against Montpellier.
With Sitiveni Sivivatu and Wesley Fofana producing flashes of brilliance behind the scrum, and ERC European Player of the Year 2013 contender, Morgan Parra, bringing his Heineken Cup points total for the season to 97, Clermont won through to a second tournament semi-final and will now go head-to-head with Munster in Montpellier on Saturday, 27 April (kick-off: 6.00pm local time).
Munster confounded many pre-match predictions with a hugely impressive 18-12 win over Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop where Ronan O'Gara used all his experience to guide the winners home with six penalties, and where 2009 British and Irish Lions captain, Paul O'Connell, was back to his imperious best following injury.
As the Irish province was celebrating a 10th semi-final appearance - equalling Toulouse's record - Harlequins, who had come into the knockout stage as No 1 seeds, were left to rue the statistical quirk that no club which has won all six of its pool games has ever gone on to lift the trophy in the same season.
With Harlequins missing out, Saracens now fly the English flag following a comprehensive 27-16 success against Ulster Rugby at Twickenham Stadium where the 37,888 attendance set a new UK record for a tournament quarter-final. Saracens Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, had the satisfaction of getting the better of his old club, and another ERC European Player of the Year nominee, Owen Farrell, contributed 17 points to raise his personal Heineken Cup total for the season to 92.
Sarries, who reached their only other semi-final in 2008, return to Twickenham on Sunday, 28 April (kick-off: 3.00pm) to face a Jonny Wilkinson-inspired Toulon who saw off a massively committed performance by Leicester Tigers. In an enthralling first tournament knockout match held at Stade Felix Mayol, Wilkinson produced a Man of the Match display with all of his side's 21 points.
With three weeks to go to the semi-finals and the next thrilling instalment of Heineken Cup action, the road is clearer leading to Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 18 May where two clubs will have the chance to win one of world rugby's most prestigious trophies.