With the crucial December Heineken Cup games just around the corner, Munster couldn’t have asked for a better lead-in game than this one tonight against the Warriors from Glasgow.
And with RaboDirect PRO12 points even more vital now following defeat to Scarlets in Cork last weekend, they couldn't really have chosen a tougher opponent.
Warriors have lost just once on the road so far – in Ravenhill on the opening day – and they boast the meanest defence in the League.
They also have their international contingent back and those who might scoff at that, following Scotland's defeat by Tonga, need be wary least their plan is to put that particular wrong to right tonight.
Munster also have their internationals available with the notable exceptions of Conor Murray and Peter O'Mahony and of course, Paul O'Connell and perhaps a measure of Rob Penney's awareness of the challenge faced this evening is that he wastes no time in drafting in those players despite the good form of those in situ while the November internationals took place.
So not surprisingly then, Ronan O'Gara relegates Ian Keatley to the bench, Simon Zebo displaces Luke O'Dea and Keith Earls continues in the number 13 slot he occupied for Declan Kidney with Casey Laulala kept in reserve.
Up front Dave Kilcoyne starts at loose-head, Donncha O'Callaghan and Donnacha Ryan are paired in the second row and CJ Stander makes his first start at openside wing-forward in the absence of the injured Niall Ronan.
The return from injury of James Coughlan to anchor the scrum could prove particularly significant while Tommy O'Donnell also returns from injury, albeit of much shorter duration that Coughlan, to the blindside berth where he impressed last time he played there against Ospreys at the Liberty in late September.
Munster: F Jones; D Howlett capt, K Earls, J Downey, S Zebo; R O'Gara, D Williams; D Kilcoyne, M Sherry, BJ Botha; D O'Callaghan, D Ryan; CJ Stander, T O'Donnell, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Varley, W du Preez, S Archer, B Holland, P Butler, P Stringer, I Keatley, C Laulala.
Glasgow Warriors: P Murchie; S Lamont, S Hogg, P Horne, DTH Van Der Merwe, D Weir, H Pyrgos; R Grant, D Hall, M Cusack; T Swinson, A Kellock (capt); R Harley, J Barclay, R Wilson. Replacements: P MacArthur, M Low, G Reid, J Strauss, J Eddie, N Matawalu, S Wight, B McGuigan.
Referee: I Davies (WRU).