The plan would have been that this game would have allowed Paul O'Connell and Jerry Flannery press their claim for inclusion in the selection process for the upcoming Heineken Cup games, but unfortunately suspension in the former and continued injury problems in the latter case have scuppered those plans.
However, Munster must press on.They're in top spot in the Magners nine points clear of the chasing pack and the absence of O'Connell and Flannery is compensated for by the rich vein of form Damien Varley (pictured above) and Mick O'Driscoll are in.
And whatever about the perceived problems they are experiencing up front it says a lot about this squad that they have created such a gap as leaders at this stage of the season.
For their part, Warriors arrive in Musgrave Park looking for their first away win of the season but it should be remarked that two of their defeats on the road were by narrow margins, two and four points respectively in Ravenhill and Parc Y Scarlets.
They have quality players in the likes Bernardo Stortoni, Max Evans, Alastair Kellock and John Barclay and if allowed get into their stride can be a hard side to stop. They also welcome back John Beattie, who has been out with a shoulder injury since he returned from Scotland's historic Test series win in Argentina last summer, and the influential Scotland number 8 will ask serious questions of the Munster defence.
Again the good news with that regard is that the Munster defence has been impressive this season and they can boast the best record in that area with just 13 tries conceded in 12 Magners games played.
Speaking after training in Thomond Park Stadium yesterday Tony McGahan's focus was totally fixed on this game rather than a week hence as illustrated when asked if this side was picked with a view to the Toulon game. "The selection was made very much with Glasgow Warriors in mind. It would be disrespectful to our opponents and to the competition itself if we allowed ourselves be distracted. Of course, selections have to be made mindful of what lies ahead but the task in hand is Warriors. We'll deal with next week once this one is over."
Munster: P Warwick; D Howlett, K Earls, L Mafi, J Murphy; R O’Gara, P Stringer; D Hurley, D Varley, J Hayes; D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll, J Coughlan, D Wallace, D Leamy capt. Replacements: M Sherry, D Kilcoyne, P Borlase, D Ryan, N Ronan, T O’Leary, S Tuitupou, D Hurley.