O'Connell hurt his ribs in the Llanelli game and Henderson needed 14 stitches to a gash in the lower lip sustained in that bruising encounter, a game Munster won 19-13.
Man of the Match that day Denis Leamy is named on the bench as is John Kelly who won his 101st cap on Sunday but coach Alan Gaffney was quick to point out that form played no part in both being relegated to the bench. "Form had nothing to with the decision because both Denis and John had fine games on Sunday," Gaffney said. "Denis has played every game this year and we feel a break will benefit him while Shaun is coming back from injury and we need to see how he's going."
With two important Celtic League games ahead and the Heineken Cup to follow, Gaffney is sensibly getting as much game time as possible into his players. With both inside centres on the injured list Gaffney has been forced to re-jig his backline and moves Mike Mullins to inside centre with James Storey taking over at 13.
Such is the strength in depth in the back row that the Munster coach can give Leamy a breather by introducing international Lions player David Wallace at open side flanker while Tom Bowman replaces the injured O'Connell in the second row.
Munster Christian Cullen;Shaun Payne, James Storey, Mike Mullins, Anthony Horgan; Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Frank Sheahan, John Hayes; Tom Bowman, Trevor Hogan; Alan Quinlan, David Wallace, Anthony Foley capt Replacements Jerry Flannery, Gordon McIlwham, Denis Leamy, Stephen Keogh, Eoin Reddan, Paul Burke, John Kelly.