The Celtic League last eight bonanza kicks-off with 30 November Friday night matches in Belfast and Dublin before Saturday's matches in Galway and Limerick, the four Irish provinces having won home advantage by finishing in the top two places of both Pools.
Munster are gunning for glory on two fronts - after four rounds they are unbeaten in the Heineken Cup - but coach Kidney is viewing Llanelli's trip to Ireland with extreme caution. "It's great that we are playing at home but Llanelli proved at Leicester, when they lost by just three points, that they are an extremely strong side and that they perform in away matches," he said. "Before the introduction of the Celtic League, we would have shut down from 4 November to 4 January. However, now we have at least one big game in that period, though obviously I hope we can make it more than just the one.
"But playing Llanelli in the quarter-finals is a bit like playing a final and we are looking no further ahead than that match. I want us to try and stick in there and, with our Pool in the Heineken Cup sure to go down to the wire, we are still very much in both tournaments - although I am well aware that by the middle of January we could be out of everything."
Munster, who hope John Hayes, John Kelly and John O'Neill will have recovered from injury by the quarter-finals, have arranged a "friendly" match against Leinster at Waterpark RFC, Waterford, this Friday (1.30 pm) to give their non-international contingent vital match practice.
Llanelli, Newport Rugby and Neath will be flying the flag for Wales with Glasgow Rugby carrying Scottish hopes. The winners of the Munster against Llanelli and Leinster against Newport Rugby matches will have home advantage in the semi-finals.
Bill Watson, Chairman of the Celtic League Association, said: "The fact that all the quarter-finals are in Ireland is great credit to Irish rugby. But all three national grounds - Murrayfield, Lansdowne Road and the Millennium Stadium - have been put on stand-by for the final on 15 December as obviously we won't know who the finalists are until a week before the final."
And the supporters have taken to the new tournament in a big way as well. "The response has varied from country to country," said Watson. "The Irish have been hugely successful with big crowds and in Scotland we have also been delighted with the size of some of our attendances of around 5,000. The rugby has been of a very high standard, with some outstanding and entertaining matches."