The resumption of the RaboDirect PRO12 marks the start of the run-in to the end of the season with Munster, Leinster & Ulster battling for honours on two fronts.
And it kicks off for Tony McGahan's
squad in the Sportsground
in Galway on Saturday with a game that kicks off at 7.45pm.
Munster will of course be without their internationals who have this week off, all expected back to prepare for the joust with Leinster on Saturday week. News today from the Leinster camp suggests that Brian O'Driscoll will be back for the trip to Limerick.
With that game looming and considering the disappointing return from their last visit to Italy, this game in Galway assumes a fresh importance. Fourth placed Glasgow Warriors will have played the night before and are likely to have moved into third spot on the same points as Munster.
A win for Ulster in Treviso and home advantage tipping the scales Blues way on Saturday (v Scarlets) could see these two edge to within two and three points respectively of Munster before the off in Galway with Ospreys still in contention even if victory in the RDS on Friday looks beyond them.
Paul O'Connell and Conor Murray are reported to be rehabbing well although it's considered too early at this stage to forecast when they'll be back in action.
David Wallace played 40 minutes of the Munster A versus Munster Development in Cork on Friday and he's reported to have come through that game unscathed and is likely to be included in the Munster squad for the weekend.