Leinster coach Micheal Cheika says his side are relishing the opportunity to face Castres in the forthcoming back-to-back Heineken weekend.
With two wins from two matches played, Cheika's Leinster are riding high at the summit of Pool 2, and could put one foot in the quarter-finals if they continue their winning run against the French outfit.
"We don't play Castres regularly, but we've watched a lot of videos and prepared ourselves the best we can," he said at the pre-match press conference in Dublin yesterday.
"You've got to plan over a couple of weeks at this time of year. Back-to-back games are very important in terms of how you manage them. I suppose the last piece of the puzzle is the way in which French teams administer their home and away games as well.
"We've had some good experiences on back to back (games) and we've had some bad experiences in my time here, so we've got to make sure - like we said before the first game of the first block of European matches - that we win the two games in a row. We have now managed that three times out of nine and we will take each of these games as individual challenges so that we can try to make it the fourth time.
"Against Bourgoin we won by 50 here and lost by three (points) the week after. We played Agen and beat them here, probably not that convincingly, and then we beat them down there when we were a bit strung out for players.
"So we've had some good interesting back to backs and, of course, we had Edinburgh last year where we beat them here and lost to them up there.
"I've learned - and I hope that I have learned well - so that we can be prepared over the coming two games.
And Cheika knows that qualification to the final eight of Europe's toughest rugby competition is a true test for his internationally ladened squad: "You've got to approach each of the six games like it's a Test match, or a Cup final. If you can do that for six games then you're going to be prepared. But it's hard to do.
"Felipe (Contepomi) is a big loss as are Isa (Nacewa) and Gordon D'Arcy. Every year we have a bit more depth and we can manage situations and it will take some managing. There's a lot of responsibility on (Jonathan) Sexton and an importance on David (Holwell) to be prepared in terms of game knowledge if he's called upon.
"We gave a few players a rest last time, so there's going to be four or five players coming in fresh and they have brought a really good energy into the team already.
"Jonny is competing against the other two boys. Dave has come as back up and he understands the situation. If anything, they're working a lot together because Jonny has to fill him full of information and Dave has a lot of experience that he will be able to pass on in the short time that he is here. Jonny is a member of the team and if he was to get injured he would want his coach to be preparing a back-up plan.
"We've still got Fergus McFadden, Eoin O'Malley, Felix Jones and Paul O'Donohoe that are ready to go, but we just thought we'd call the squad early (in the week). There definitely was a temptation to put Fergus in because he played very well at the weekend, but we want him to find his feet because he still has other building blocks to be earned."
"We were hoping that Shane Jennings would be back on the training paddock today, but he wasn't and you'd have to say he's 50-50. In these weeks, in what we would consider our Test match weeks, we like players to be clear about what's happening. They're jockeying for position and once they've been included in the match squad, then they know that they have earned their position."
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.