There will also be a whiff of revenge in the Musgrave Park air tonight following that 20-6 defeat in Rodney Parade and whether it’ll be significant or not, only four players – Doug Howlett, Paul Warwick, Ian Nagle and James Coughlan – remain in the starting XV from that night in November.
Howlett and Nagle retain the same positions, Warwick was out half that night but this time switches to centre alongside Lifeimi Mafi, a combination that worked so well against Edinburgh while James Coughlan will be at open side this evening whereas he was number 8 in Rodney Parade.
There’s the new combination at half-back of Garryowen pair Conor Murray and Declan Cusack, a return to the starting line-up for Marcus Horan and Denis Fogarty and Denis Leamy released from the international arena to anchor a scrum that has been particularly steady in the past few games.
Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, L Mafi, P Warwick, S Zebo; D Cusack, C Murray; M Horan, D Fogarty, S Archer; I Nagle, M O’Driscoll capt; D Ryan, J Coughlan, D Leamy. Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, T Buckley, A Quinlan, T O’Donnell, P Stringer, S Tuitupou, D Barnes.
Newport-Gwent Dragons: W Harries; A Hughes, T Riley, P Leach, M Pewtner; J Tovey, W Evans; H Gustafson, S Jones capt, B Castle; S Morgan, R Sidoli; A Coombs, T Faletau, J Bearman. Replacements: L Burns, P Palmer, P Price, A Jones, L Evans, A Smith, J Evans, M Jones.
Referee: Peter Allen (Sco).