Munster arrived into Manchester international airport yesterday afternoon and went straight to Edgeley Park for the customary walk-through of the match stadium. Ronan O'Gara, Jeremy Manning and Shaun Payne remained behind with kicking coach Mark Tainton, when the rest of the squad continued on to the Marriott Hotel.
Later that evening there was a visit to the hotel by Roy Keane who spent an hour with the players and the Cork man who was accompanied by former Munster great Olan Kelleher, is expected to be at the game to lend his support to the team.
Sale Sharks start this game as odds-on favourites to maintain the impressive start to the season that sees them perched confidently on top of the Premiership table. Munster for their part introduce Barry Murphy and Tomas O'Leary to Heineken Cup rugby. Murphy, benefitting from the unavailbilty of injured Trevor Halstead, has certainly caught the eye in his outings so far while O'Leary retains his place at scrum-half after taking over from the Peter Stringer ahead of the Leinster game.
MUNSTER: S Payne; J Kelly, B Murphy, G Connolly, A Pitout; R O'Gara, T O'Leary; M Horan, F Sheahan, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll, A Quinlan, D Leamy, A Foley (capt). Replacements: J Flannery, F Pucciariello, T Hogan, D Wallace, P Stringer, J Manning, R Henderson.
SALE SHARKS: D Larrechea; M Cueto, M Taylor, E Seveali'i, J Robinson (capt); C Hodgson, S Martens; A Sheridan, A Titterrell, S Turner, C Jones, I Fernandez Lobbe, J White, M Lund, S Chabal. Replacements: S Bruno, B Stewart, B Coutts, D Schofield, V Courrent, R Todd, O Ripol.
Referee: Joel Jutge (France).