Munster open their campaign with a home game against Northampton Saints, the side Leinster beat in last year's final, next Saturday week in Thomond Park Stadium.
The lead in game that is the much anticipated meeting with Leinster in Dublin next Friday, a game that O'Connell says, " will leave us know exactly where we are in terms of readiness for the Heineken Cup. They (Leinster) will challenge us at every level of our game. At the set piece, the lineout, the kicking game, every level. Come Saturday morning we'll know a lot more about ourselves."