Munster's fortress Thomond Park will reopen this Friday just over 20 months after the demolition crews were called in to start the redevelopment.
The famed stadium will reopen with an under 20s game this weekend but will welcome the return of Heineken Cup action on Friday, 10 October when tournament debutants Montauban get their first taste of European action in Limerick.
The new look stadium has doubled its capacity to 26,000 with the erection of two new stands and increased terracing and Munster will be hoping than none of the ground's partisan atmosphere will be lost on big match days. The double champions have only lost on one occasion in the Heineken Cup at their Limerick base when Leicester Tigers defeated them 13 points to 6 in the Round 6 match in 2007.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.