Auch host GRAN Rugby in the First Leg of their European Shield quarter-final on Saturday with coach Henry Broncan singing the praises of the tournament.
"The game against GRAN Rugby is very important to us," he said. "The European Shield offers us a vital opportunity to play European rugby and in doing so, improve the standard of our team and experience different playing styles and teams.
"The tournament offers us great opportunities on two different levels. Firstly, we are given the chance to play against high-level European teams such as London Irish, from whom we learned a great deal.
"We have also been able to benefit from the relationships the tournament offers the club.
"We have built up a great friendship with L'Aquila during our two legs against them in the competition and we are hoping to be able to benefit both socially and in terms of rugby from our fixtures against GRAN Rugby.
"We are taking the tournament very seriously, not least because we feel we owe it to ERC for honouring us with the invitation; to our fans, who have shown us massive support, and finally to France, who we are representing in Europe.
"We have no real injury worries and although we know that this game will be difficult as GRAN Rugby have a strong squad, I believe that we have a team strong enough to make at least the semi-finals of this year's tournament."
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.