Munster coach Declan Kidney makes four changes from the side that defeated Ulster, for this evening's Magners League game against Leinster at Lansdowne Road (7.30pm). Three of those changes are forced through the injuries to Christian Cullen, Shaun Payne and Anthony Horgan while the fourth change sees Frank Sheahan return to the front row, a position he was forced to withdraw from last weekend because of a hamstring injury.
Good news from a Munster point of view is the return to the match-day 22 of Barry Murphy who has been out of action since injuring his ankle in the League against Ulster in Ravenhill last March. Murphy is named on a replacement bench that includes Denis Leamy who, if he gets a run, will be playing his first game in 14 weeks and Brian O'Meara who spent the last number of seasons in the Leinster camp.
Opponents in the Leinster pack include former colleagues Trevor Hogan and Stephen Keogh and their new coach Michael Cheika is full of praise for the newcomers, "We're more physical on the fringes of ruck and maul. Trevor Hogan has added more sting to the side, Owen (Finegan) bring experience and good tight hard-hitting while (Stephen) Keogh gives us good propensity to go-forward.
"We've won one and lost two against them since I've arrived so you're always looking to level the score! It's a brilliant fixture and the rivalry, build-up and hype is great. We've learned our lesson from the last game with them and the fact remains that we're a different team - and they are too.
"I thought Munster played very well against Ulster the other night." continued Cheika, " They're a quality outfit. Their two half-backs are excellent match managers and Alan Quinlan is an added player that we didn't face last year who is an outstanding counter-rucker."
Speaking about the game Cheika said, "It's fantastic to play another Irish side because it's an opportunity to show your ability in front of a large crowd and the national selectors with the autumn internationals on the horizon.
"We're probably a bit more adaptable than last year in terms of mix and matching our game at times. That's something that won't happen over a few weeks, but over a longer period of time.
"We won't be lying down and we'll certainly look to have a go. We have a strategy and a structure in mind."
Munster: Jeremy Manning; Ian Dowling, John Kelly, Trevor Halstead, Tomas O'Leary; Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Frank Sheahan, Federico Puciariello; Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell capt.; Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, Anthony Foley.
Replacements: Timmy Ryan, Andy Kyriacou, Mick O'Driscoll, Denis Leamy, Tim McGann, Brian O'Meara, Barry Murphy.
Leinster: Girvan Dempsey; Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll capt, Gordon D'Arcy, Denis Hickie; Felipe Contepomi, Chris Whitaker; Ronan McCormack, Harry Vermaas, Will Green;
Trevor Hogan, Malcolm O'Kelly; Stephen Keogh, Keith Gleeson, Jamie Heaslip
Replacements: Reggie Corrigan, Brian Blaney, Owen Finegan, Cameron Jowitt, Guy Easterby, Christian Warner, Luke Fitzgerald.