Munster's defeat by the western province in a 3rd/4th place play off in last year's championship provides added incentive for the Ian Costello/Anthony Foley coached side who will be captained by the Munster Academy player, former Ireland Schools international captain Peter O'Mahony. O'Mahony will have fellow Munster Academy colleague, Conor Murray at scrum-half. Both Murray and O'Mahony were capped at Ireland U19 level last March.
Included in their starting squad are another schools international Gavan Duffy at loose-head prop as well as four players - lock Brian Hayes, blindside flanker David O'Callaghan, out-half Michael Kelleher and replacement flanker Brian O'Hara - who won international honours last March in the Six Nations U18 Festival played in Cork, O'Callaghan captaining the Irish side in their final 17-15 win over Italy.
In the lead into this campaign Munster played three games, the opener against Cardiff Blues that resulted in a narrow 15-10 defeat followed by victories over UL Bohemians (29-14) and UCC (24-12).
The game against Connacht is followed by a trip to Donnybrook (v Leinster) and then the mouth watering prospect of being the first side to play in the new Thomond Park when they take on Ulster on Friday September 26th (7.30pm).
Munster: Odhran Mulrooney (UCC); Finbar Ahearne (UL Bohs), Ian Cross (UL Bohs), Danny Barnes (UCC), Ronan O'Mahony (Garryowen); Michael Kelleher (Richmond), Conor Murray (Garryowen); Gavan Duffy (UCC), David Twomey (UL Bohs), Felix Ross (UL Bohs); Brian Hayes (CBC Cork), Darragh Frawley (UL Bohs); David O'Callaghan (UCC), Brian O'Callaghan (UCC), Peter O'Mahony (Cork Con) capt.
Replacements: Podge Hogan (UL Bohs), Jack Bransfield (UCC), Brian O'Hara (UL Bohs), Sean Rennison (UL Bohs), Chris Nolan (Cork Con), Andrew Joyce (UCC), Mark Doyle (UL Bohs).