Friday will also be a momentous occasion for former Munster player John Lacey who takes charge of the Northampton Saints v Castres Olympique game at Franklin's Gardens, his first of what is bound to be many games at this level as he inches ever closer to international level.
Paul O'Connell and Tony McGahan represented Munster in Dublin today and although he must be tiring of the same old question, he explained, once again, that his recovery was back on course that had been predicted by the medics and he was hoping for a return to action around Christmas time.
Asked about Munster's immediate opponents he said, "We always seem to get the form English side. Whether it be London Irish this year, Northampton Saints, Wasps, Gloucester. And we've lost a few of those.
"Look," he continued,"it's going to be very tough. They're top of the League, playing well, scoring a lot of tries. They've some serious quality. They beat Leinster last year in the RDS so, yes, it's going to be tough for the boys but they're playing well and will give a good account of themselves.
McGahan admitted to being 'very disappointed' by Saturday's result but said it was a case of 'learning what we have to from it, putting it behind us and concentrating on the job in hand. And that's London Irish."
He believes that along with Leinster they have the most difficult Pools. "London Irish are playing really good stuff right now, Ospreys have a really strong squad again this year, the Magners title will give them added confidence while Toulon have the best that money can buy. So, all in all, we face a pretty formidable task but one we're looking forward to.