Two-time finalists Stade Francais set off on a pursuit of a first title with a difficult trip to Belfast.
Stade do not have good memories of this year’s final venue, Murrayfield, where they lost in the 2005 final to Toulouse after extra time.
The two sides have met seven times previously in the competition, including the dramatic 1999 semi-final at Ravenhill which Ulster shaded 33-27 before going on to lift the trophy.
Both sides under-performed last season and failed to get out of the pool stages so will be seeking a positive start. 

Ulster coach Matt Williams said: “It is so much fun to be back involved in the Heineken Cup, it is the best competition in the world and to be playing against the best club team in the world at Ravenhill, a ground with so much European history, is just tremendous.”

“This time around I’m enjoying both the competition more and the build up around a Heineken Cup match at Ravenhill. I like that we have the underdog tag and I am enjoying the whole journey towards the game.”

“I’m pleased that Paddy has returned to the side, he is one of our best players and has taken on the role of inside centre really well this season. I’m confident that he will play well within the team tomorrow.”

“Isaac will start this game after being on the bench last week, he just offers a bit more of a physical presence and I think we will need that earlier in the game when Stade are coming at us hard. Cillian Willis has been playing really well and there is not a lot between the two of them but for this game I just thought it best to start Isaac.”

“David Pollock has knocked his knee again, same as earlier in the season. There is very little between David Pollock and Kieron Dawson, they are great players and it would be a very hard decision to leave either of them out. This season each time one of them has played he has been our strongest player and in my opinion outstanding. Dawson was inspirational against the Ospreys and I have every faith in him for tomorrow.”

“Stade are the best team in the world and it will be great to watch them run out at Ravenhill, I would urge supporters to come along because this is a superb side and they will be amazing to watch”