10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
The Australian said: "It's fantastic to play another Irish side because it's an opportunity to show your ability in front of a large crowd and the national selectors with the Autumn internationals on the horizon.
"We're probably a bit more adaptable than last year in terms of mix and matching our game at times. That's something that won't happen over a few weeks, but over a longer period of time.
"We're more physical on the fringes of the ruck and maul. Trevor Hogan has added more sting to the side, Owen (Finegan) brings experience and good tight hard-hitting while (Stephen) Keogh gives us good propensity to go-forward.
"We won't be lying down and we'll certainly look to have a go. We have a strategy and a structure in mind," he added.
Australian international scrum half Chris Whitaker answers the media's questions at the Wesley Bar in Donnybrook. The 31-year-old was well used to derby matches Down Under having lined out many times for the NSW Waratahs against their arch rivals Queensland.
Leinster captain Brian O'Driscoll, who will make his 78th appearance for the province tonight, talks to RTI Radio rugby commentator Michael Corcoran.
The Irish skipper said: "It's always significant when you play Munster, no matter what time of the season you play them. I suppose it's potentially a big game for us if we manage to win it - we've beaten the European champions and that breeds confidence.
"I guess it's heightened because it's Munster, but at this stage it doesn't matter who it is."
O'Driscoll, who is seen above discussing matters with his coach Michael Cheika, reflected back briefly on last April's Heineken Cup semi-final defeat to Munster at Lansdowne Road.
He admitted: "Teams that play well also stop the other team from playing well. It wasn't just about our lack of cohesion at times (in the European semi-final), we just weren't allowed to play. That's part of the battle - you implementing your game plan but also trying to stem theirs.
"We're not fooling ourselves. There's not going to be the hype that there was surrounding the Heineken Cup semi-final. That was a very special game. Not taking away from this league but the sixth round of it doesn't quite compare to that level.
"But it's going to be big. There's always going to be an element of grudge because they knocked us out of the semi-finals and you always want to pit yourself against the best teams in Europe and that's what they are at the moment."
Just a month into his second season with Leinster, competitively speaking, Cheika was asked about his record against Munster.
"We've won one and lost two against them since I've arrived so you're always looking to level the score!" he conceded. "It's a brilliant fixture and the rivalry, build-up and hype is great. We've learned our lesson from the last game against them and the fact remains that we're a different team - and they are too.
"I thought Munster played very well against Ulster last weekend. They're a quality outfit. Their two half-backs are excellent match managers and Alan Quinlan is an added player that we didn't face last year, who is an outstanding counter-rucker."
The 27-year-old O'Driscoll made his senior debut for Leinster against Munster at Temple Hill back in 1999 - the red-shirted hosts ran out 31-20 winners.
Tonight's game looks certain to break the Magners League record for an attendance in the regular season. Last May saw 15,327 spectators watch the Cardiff Blues beat Leinster at the Millennium Stadium. Ticket sales for the Leinster-Munster re-match have already soared over the 14,500-mark.
Relishing the atmosphere the big crowd will generate, Cheika said: "Any game where there's a big crowd always intensifies the occasions so it accentuates everything in the game and we're hoping that we'll have a big, big crowd there - as big as possible.
"Because that kind of intensity is what the guys come to play from and you want to make sure they get the maximum experience out of it."
**All photos by Dan Sheridan of Inpho Photography**