Factor in also the presence of world stars like Doug Howlett, Rua Tipoki, Chris Whitaker, Felipe Contepomi, CJ Van der Linde and Rocky Elsom. Then for good measure measure allow for the burgeoning talent that is Keith Earls, Donncha Ryan, Luke Fitzgerald, Johnny Sexton and Robert Kearney and it's easy to see why the stands will be bursting this evening despite the nonsense kick-off time.
The day and the time means - although in fairness Leinster's growing support base has to acknowledged as a factor also - those stands will be heavily loaded Leinster's way but how many of you present this evening, were in Lansdowne Road on that miserably wet and cold Saturday afternoon back in December 1995 ? That was the day when Jim Glennonâ00s/Ciaran Callan side lost out to Cardiff in the inaugural semi final of the Heineken Cup.
And least you need reminding there were just over 7000 brave frozen witnesses there.
Twelve months on and Leicester arrived for their Round Two European Cup game and played it in front of 3,500, again on a bitterly cold day in an eerily empty Lansdowne Road. For the next few seasons attendances fluctuated, around 6,000 fetched up to Donnybrook for the September â0097 meeting with Leicester Tigers and when the Tigers came back in November â0099 it was a hard sell to get the six and a half thousand in.
In 2002, 30,000 turned up to see Leinster come from behind to win the inaugural Celtic League and in 2006, 30,000 couldnâ00t get tickets to watch Munster overcome Leinster in glorious sunshine in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup.
Munster were used to dragging the punters in and now have a new Thomond Park stadium to cater for demand while Leinster play in front of near full houses in the RDS and have regularly filled Lansdowne Road when they played there.
Of course a lot has to do with the great rivalry but credit too, to the people behind the scenes and to the squads themselves for the type of rugby the supporters anticipate.
But speaking of the sort of rugby played, again the question. How many of tonightâ00s audience were in Donnybrook some years ago for one of the great exhibitions of rugby seen at that comfy little ground ?
Leinster were the hosts and Munster the visitors. It was an interprovincial game played in ideal September conditions. It yielded eight tries, five for Leinster and three for Mick Galwayâ00s Munster including two from the skipper himself. Richard Governey thumped over a penalty in the first minute of injury time that looked the winning score but Munster bounced back, Anthony Foley was denied by a crunching tackle from the outstanding Chris Pim but Eddie Halvey picked from a close-in scrum to snatch the winning try.
The link to tonightâ00s is maintained through Kurt McQuilkin and Foley, both now on the respective coaching tickets. It seems Foley is linked to everything glorious in Munsterâ00s past.
No he didnâ00t play in the â0078 win over the All Blacks. He let his father Brendan represent him.
And as for the tonightâ00s clash ? Think Kerry v Tyrone. Think Kilkenny v Cork. Think United v Chelsea. Multiply your thoughts by any number you fancy and youâ00ll get somewhere near understanding the seismic nature of this event.
Munster: K Earls; D Howlett, R Tipoki, L Mafi, I Dowling; R O'Gara, T O'Leary; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes; P O'Connell (capt), D O'Callaghan; D Ryan, D Wallace, J Melck. Replacements: F Sheahan, F Pucciariello, J O'Sullivan, A Quinlan, P Stringer, P Warwick, B Murphy.
Leinster: G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, F Contepomi, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton, C Whitaker; R McCormack, B Jackman, CJ van der Linde; L Cullen (capt), M O'Kelly; R Elsom, S Jennings, J Heaslip. Replacements: S Wright, J Fogarty, T Hogan, C Jowitt, S O'Brien, C Keane, R Kearney.
Referee: Simon McDowell (IRFU).