Same Again For Munster.
No great surprise really that Tony McGahan gives his starting XV from last weekend a vote of confidence to start off the game against Castres Olympique in Stade Ernest-Wallon on Saturday.
And the only change to the match day 23 comes on the replacements bench and again it's no surprise that Marcus Horan
returns at the expense of John Ryan,
having recoverd from an ankle injury that forced his late withdrawal from the squad for the Northampton game.
Ryan's turn will come, but Horan's inclusion gives the Munster bench an added strength, the worth of which was seen towards the latter stages of that epic encounter last Saturday.
Not taking away for one second what the starters had produced up to then, but when Denis Leamy and Donncha O'Callaghan entered the fray they were awesome, while Tomas O'Leary reminded everyone of the quality player he is and Will Chambers fronted up as if he'd been playing in the Munster Red for years rather than just his fourth game.
But, such is the nature of the their profession, Munster players and management are fully aware, that all the hype and all the back-slapping from last weekend, will become a distant memory if they can't back it up this weekend.
Tony McGahan stating "They're a very good and a very consistent side. If you've been watching the Top 14 over the last two and a bit years, you see how they've progressed to being a top four side. They've established a very strong forward pack and the way their captain Chris Masoe has been playing the last few months has been terrific."
"They've a big forward pack, very strong, very physical, a set-piece dominated very traditional French side. Then a strong 9 and 10 who kick the ball extremely well. Teulet who we know very well is there to kick the penalties. Two big centres, Cabannes and Bonnefond, who're able to play thru that channel one position, then play off the back of that. Impressive."
"They've had a wonderful start to this season, I know they came up short in the last few games but before that they'd beaten some top sides, Stade Francais, Toulouse, Biarritz."
"Quality side, no doubt about that."
Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley; R O'Gara, C Murray; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D Ryan, P O'Connell capt; P O'Mahony, N Ronan, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Fogarty, M Horan, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, D Leamy, T O'Leary, I Keatley, W Chambers.