The Munster gyms in Cork (Forge Hill) and Limerick (UL) are eerily quiet these days while the squad are away in Portugal on a week long training camp.
The 54 strong party, including players and staff, flew out from Shannon Airport to Faro on Wednesday morning and arrived after an uneventful journey at their destination in Villamoura in the early evening. The five players who were involved for the duration of the Lions tour - Ronan O'Gara, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, David Wallace and Keith Earls - will return home on Sunday while the remainder arrive back on Wednesday afternoon.
The coaching staff had the squad out on the beautifully manicured full-size grass pitch for a limbering up exercise soon after they had stowed their gear on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning began for Tony McGahan's coaching team with an 8am meeting ahead of the morning's Paul Darbyshire supervised squad training session.
Bath Rugby were the most recent rugby side to use the facility and before that, Sale Sharks who Munster meet in Musgrave Park this day week, spent the opening week of their pre-season at the complex.
Sale Sharks have already had one pre-season game against Montpelier last week in Millau that they lost 12-5 and next up for them is a game against another French side Albi before they arrive in Ireland next Wednesday to prepare for the clash with Munster.
After that they have one more game - against Exeter Chiefs - before opening their competitive account at home to Leicester Tigers on September 4th.
Sharks coach Kingsley Jones however sees the Munster game as the key part of his squad's build up to the season and to that end he is expected to include the likes of Charlie Hodgson, Andrew Sheridan, Luke Abraham, Ben Cohen and fully fit again Dwayne Peel in his squad for the trip to Munster.
Also expected to feature in the Sale side on Friday week are newcomers this season, Scotland international Gavin Kerr, David Seymour who joins from Saracens and the Fijian international Sisaro Koyamaibole who played with Toulon last season.