Ulster's Darren Cave has warned that the side's progression to the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup will count for little if they fail to qualify for next year's competition.
Cave will be part of the side who take on Southern Kings in the PRO14 this evening (5.30pm kick-off) with only seven days to go until the eagerly-anticipated European last eight tie against Leinster.
Ulster, who have Marcell Coetzee back today, entered the weekend in the last Champions Cup qualification spot.
"There is no hiding it, next week is a big game," said Cave. "We have not been at that (stage) in Europe for five years, it is too many.
"I think if we are looking at the big picture this is a club that needs to be playing in the Champions Cup (every year).
"As big as the game is next week, we need points in the league. I have been saying that.
"We got 16 in our last four games thankfully and that has been great.
"There is no point in getting to the final, or a semi-final or beating Leinster and then sliding down the PRO14 table and not making the Champions Cup for next season.
"That is not what this club is all about," he added.
"Every game is a big game for the rest of the season."