A week after that London trip, Munster welcome Toulon to Limerick and Thomond Park Stadium (3.30pm kick off) for what is sure to be a sell out game against the star studded French outfit who were surprisingly beaten in the Amlin Challenge Cup final by Cardiff in May.
In the past, the back-to-back December matches have proved central to club's progress and Munster play Magners League champions Ospreys twice in the space of six days, at home in Thomond Park Stadium on Sunday December 12th (1pm) followed by the trip to Swansea for the return the following Saturday (3.30pm).
All in all a very demanding programme with no easy matches, a fact recognised by Munster coach Tony McGahan, "First and foremost," he said, " we recognise the quality of the opposition we face in our Pool. There are no weak sides, each of them I believe, well capable of winning the competition, certainly all well capable of getting results on the road.
In terms of how the fixtures have fallen McGahan continued, "Home advantage is important but can also bring it's own pressures particularly in round one but London Irish will prove a massive challenge. They were just edged out of a place in the play offs last season and prior to that lost narrowly in the semi final."
"Toulon represent a little bit of an unknown quantity in the respect that we've never played them before. We've seen plenty of them and it's probably better to get them in Limerick first up."
"Back to back against the Ospreys, first game at home in Thomond Park ? They won there last time and will travel in confidence. In reality however, any one of the four sides in this group is capable of winning the competition."
Heineken Cup Pool 3 Fixtures:
(All kick-off times local)
Sat. 9th October Toulon v Ospreys 2.30pm
Sat. 9th October London Irish v Munster 5.45pm
Fri. 15th October Ospreys v London Irish 8pm
Sat. 16th October Munster v Toulon 3.30pm
Sun. 12th December London Irish v Toulon 3pm
Sun. 12th December Munster v Ospreys 1pm
Sat. 18th December Toulon v London Irish 4.30pm
Sat. 18th December Ospreys v Munster 3.30pm
14/15/16 January 2011
Toulon v Munster
London Irish v Ospreys
21/22/23 January 2011
Munster v London Irish
Ospreys v Toulon
8/9/10 April 2011
30 April/1 May 2011
Heineken Cup Final
21/22 May 2011