The leading two teams after the opening eight rounds of the GUINNESS PRO12 meet at Thomond Park as Munster look to maintain their impressive home form, while table-topping Connacht chase their first competitive victory in Limerick in 29 years.
The Connacht team to face Munster in their first interprovincial clash of the season at Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm) has been named. Head coach Pat Lam has made nine personnel changes to the team that started against Brive in the European Challenge Cup.
Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made six changes to the team that beat Benetton Treviso in the Champions Cup for Saturday's return to GUINNESS PRO12 action against Connacht at Thomond Park (kick-off 5.15pm).
Following the completion of discussions between EPCR, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, Premiership Rugby and PRO12 Rugby to reschedule the six European club matches which were postponed due to the Paris attacks, it has been agreed by all parties that the games will be played on the weekend of January 8/9/10, 2016 in advance of round 5 of the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.
Leinster and Ulster are back on GUINNESS PRO12 duty tonight, with both sides determined to put last week's European Champions Cup disappointment behind them in what promises to be another keenly-contested interprovincial derby.
Ireland international Iain Henderson will start at lock for Ulster for the first time this season, following his appearance in the back row last weekend. He will combine with fellow Ireland international Dan Tuohy in the second row for Friday's GUINNESS PRO12 derby encounter with Leinster at the RDS (kick-off 7.35pm).
Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to announce the extended contract of Ireland international Kieran Marmion. The 23-year-old, who was first capped for Ireland in the summer of 2014, has put pen to paper on a new two-year contract with Connacht Rugby.
Munster continued preparations for Saturday's home interprovincial match against Connacht with the first squad session of the week at UL. A number of players continue to work with Munster medical staff in rehabbing some recent bumps and bruises and a number of longer term injuries.
Legendary former Ireland international Philip Orr was joined by current Leinster players Sean Cronin, Aaron Dundon and Colm O'Shea at the RDS today for the launch of 'Rugby Memories', a new initiative with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) who are one of two charity partners to Leinster Rugby this season.
Connacht's victory over Benetton Treviso last time out and the loss of the Scarlets' 100% record saw Pat Lam's men take over top spot in the GUINNES PRO12 table - a position the province had not held, after a full round of games, since the start of 2010/11 season.
Ahead of the game against Ulster on Friday, Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty spoke about the lessons learned from the defeat to Bath and how the province's pack will be taking those lessons into this weekend's interprovincial clash.
Following scans this week, there was mixed news on the injury front for Munster hookers Mike Sherry and Duncan Casey who both sustained knocks during the European Champions Cup round 1 win over Benetton Treviso.