Tonight, the RaboDirect PRO12 clash against Connacht (Thomond Park Stadium 7.45) affords Munster supporters the opportunity to say goodbye to one of the truly outstanding contributors to Munster Rugby when John Hayes plays his 217th and final game for the province.
Hayes brings the curtain down on a career that began back in 1997. He made his debut the same season as Ronan O'Gara, David Wallace, John Kelly and Anthony Horgan, won his 100th cap in April 2005, his 200th in the Amlin quarter final last season against Brive and earlier this year won his 100th Heineken Cup cap against Northampton Saints.
And for this game tonight it's very much a case of youth and experience that Tony McGahan serves up. Hayes joined in the pack by another 200 capper Marcus Horan and the next two best placed to achieve that feat, Donncha O'Callaghan and captain Mick O'Driscoll.
Callow youth is represented by Paddy Butler at number eight and a clutch of them in the backs such as Simon Zebo, Danny Barnes, Luke O'Dea and Sean Scanlon with the wily Tomas O'Leary at number 9 to direct the flow.
To take Connacht – no win in last 10 outings – at face value would be foolish in the extreme. They have suffered some of those reversals in the intimidating arenas of The Stoop and Kingsholm and have been desperately unlucky in both.
Eric Elwood makes just one change from last time out against Gloucester, Fetu'u Vainikolo in for the injured Mark McCrea (hamstring) so he brings an experienced battle hardened squad to Limerick and obviously sees an opportunity of creating an upset.
Munster will of course have the added incentive of wishing to send Hayes off in the best possible fashion but as O'Driscoll pointed out earlier in the week, that desire alone will not suffice.
This could be every bit as close as anything we've seen against Northampton or Scarlets but it is to be hoped that Munster supporters turn up in their droves and give John Hayes an appropriate send-off.
Munster: S Scanlon; L O'Dea, K Earls, D Barnes, S Zebo; I Keatley, T O'Leary; M Horan, D Fogarty, J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll capt; B Holland, N Ronan, P Butler. Replacements: S Henry, D Kilcoyne, BJ Botha, I Nagle, J Coughlan, D Williams, S Deasy, T Gleeson.
Connacht: G Duffy capt; F Vainikolo, E Griffin, D McSharry, T O'Halloran; N O'Connor, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, E Reynecke, R Loughney; G Naoupu, M McCrathy; D Gannon, J O'Connor, J Muldoon. Replacements: A Flavin, D Rogers, R Ah You, M Kearney, E McKeon, P O'Donoghue, M Jarvis, K Tonetti.
Referee: Dudley Phillips.