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.
Having their computers and hard disk analysis of this weekend's Basque opponents stolen last Friday at the Newport Hilton hotel, was just another unfortunate twist for Gaffney's men, who were busy chalking up a morale-boosting 24-8 Celtic League win over the Dragons.
Coupled with the definite absences of Ronan O'Gara (knee ligaments), Christian Cullen (shoulder ligaments) and Denis Leamy (torn hamstring), new signing Brian Lima also suffered a suspected slight thigh strain when training yesterday at the University of Limerick.
Hardly the best of preparations as the Australian coach bids to end his Munster tenure on a high note.
"We had an unfortunate incident at our hotel in Wales when our computers and hard drive went missing after a break-in to our team room. All the work we did on Biarritz had to be redone on Saturday and Sunday," revealed Gaffney.
"Somebody had a 10-minute window of opportunity to get access to our equipment, whether it came about through insider information or not I don't know. All I'm aware of is we had to get back down to basics at the weekend and at least we still had the videos to work off.
"We had to revisit all the videos we prepared on Biarritz and that took about four hours per video to break down. It wasn't the most pleasant long weekend I've spent in my life - but I'm happy we had access to the videos and as long as we can win I'll be happy."
The skies further darkened this morning when Samoan legend Lima was ruled out of Gaffney's matchday squad, due to a quadricep muscle injury sustained in training.
"Brian had a couple of good sessions with us since Sunday but he had a slight strain out there and finished the session marginally early. He's still fairly fatigued," added Gaffney yesterday.
"He's fitted in very simply to what we're doing. In terms of our patterns and structures, he's picked everything up quite quickly.
"He's an impact player and by that I don't mean an impact player in terms of coming off the bench. That's the way he plays the game from the start."