The Zurich Premiership and Celtic League provided four Heineken Cup "previews" last weekend.
Reigning champions London Wasps were held to a 17-17 draw by Leicester Tigers at The Causeway Stadium in their domestic meeting - two weeks ahead of the Tigers returning for their Round 3 showdown on Sunday, 5 December.
Both teams were without their current internationals, and Tigers coach John Wells was reading little into a result that allowed his team to stay five points clear of Wasps at the top of the Zurich table.
"To be perfectly honest, I think today was a one-off as there will be so many changes to both teams by the time we play those two Heineken Cup matches and I suspect what happens then will be very different from what happened today," said Wells. "For starters there will be more intensity, pace and aggression and when that picks up things start to happen."
On the Celtic League front, Glasgow Rugby drew first blood against the Llanelli Scarlets ahead of their back-to-back clashes in Rounds 3 and 4 with a 40-29 victory at Hughenden.
The Scarlets will return to Scotland on Sunday, 5 December, when they will be seeking their first win of the current campaign - and to avert their first run of three successive defeats in the tournament.
The Scarlets did the double over Glasgow Rugby in the 2002 / 2003 campaign, winning 34-8 away from home.
Ulster followed up their Round 1 Heineken Cup triumph over Cardiff Blues at Ravenhill with a convincing Celtic victory last weekend (30-14), while Edinburgh Rugby gave Newport Gwent Dragons something to think about ahead of their Round 5 trip to Rodney Parade by taking the home team's season-and-a-half long Celtic ground record.
Brendan Laney's penalty goal deep into injury time gave the Scots a 17-16 victory - some consolation for their Round 2 Heineken Cup defeat at Murrayfield by the Dragons.
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.