13 of his squad were involved with the national squad this week and five, who were not retained in the national 22 for the French game, John Kelly, Anthony Horgan, Rob Henderson, Mike Mullins and David Wallace, were released back to the Munster squad this (Thursday) afternoon.
In the absence of regular captain Jim Williams, Jason Holland will lead Munster from the out-half position.
Speaking about the selection Gaffney said, "With the Six Nations approaching, we knew all along that there would be this disruption in terms of players who would or wouldn't be available to us. It does give us the opportunity to get valuable game-time into other members of the squad and that's a plus."
"In relation to Shaun Payne the situation is that he is almost back to 100% after his injury but we felt he would benefit from a few extra days. The demands of international and provincial rugby are huge and put a lot of strain on players so when we can do something to relieve that pressure we will as in this instance with John Kelly who has been on the go really since before the World Cup, Mike Mullins who has played every game for the last year and a half and Jim Williams who has played in every game bar one this season up to now."
Just five players - Jeremy Staunton, Rob Henderson, Anthony Horgan, David Wallace and James Blaney - began in Munster's last outing against Bourgoin although five more of Friday's starting line-up - Mossie Lawler, Jason Holland, Stephen Keogh, David Pusey and Gordon McIlwham - played a part in that victory when they came on as replacements.
Munster currently lie in seventh place in the table, on 25 points, nine points behind leaders Llanelli Scarlets who play second placed Ulster (33pts).
Munster Team to Face The Borders:
15 - Jeremy Staunton, 14 - Mossy Lawler, 13 - Jason Jones-Hughes, 12 - Rob Henderson, 11 - Anthony Horgan, 10 - Jason Holland (Capt), 9 - Eoin Reddan, 1 - Simon Kerr, 2 - James Blaney, 3 - Gordon McIlwham, 4 - Trevor Hogan, 5 - David Pusey, 6 - Peter Malone, 7 - David Wallace, 8 - Stephen Keogh.
Replacements: Frank Roche, Jerry Flannery, Donal Sheehan, Tom Hayes, Frank Murphy, Mike Mullins, Dominic Crotty.
Munster v The Borders Celtic League Venue: Musgrave Park, Cork Date: Friday 6th February Kick-off: 7.30pm