Munster will make their first appearance at the new Thomond Park Stadium when they take on Glasgow Warriors at the redeveloped Limerick ground on Saturday. A win would send Tony McGahan's men back to the top of the Magners League table, ahead of the start of their Heineken Cup title defence next week.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Saturday, October 4
MUNSTER v GLASGOW WARRIORS, Thomond Park Stadium, 7pm (live Setanta Sports Ireland)
Team News:Anthony Horgan and Alan Quinlan have been selected in a Munster starting line-up for the first time this season, with the pair set to line out against Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park Stadium on Saturday.
However, scrum half Tomas O'Leary is a late withdrawal with a leg injury.
O'Leary was named in the squad earlier in the week and now his place in the selected team goes to Peter Stringer with Mike Prendergast drafted onto the replacements bench.
Horgan (31) and the 34-year-old Quinlan bring a wealth of experience to the side, having won over 300 caps between them for Munster.
Also back in the starting line-up is Barry Murphy, who teams up with Rua Tipoki in midfield.
Up front, Frankie Sheahan replaces Jerry Flannery and Quinlan's selection means Donnacha Ryan gets a well-earned rest, forcing a reshuffle in the back row with Justin Melck switching to openside and David Wallace named at number 8.
On the bench, hooker Denis Fogarty, after a hugely impressive showing in the 'A' side's victory over Leinster 'A' last weekend, provides the cover for Sheahan.
And Mick O'Driscoll, Niall Ronan and Kieran Lewis are other newcomers to the replacements from last Sunday.
Meanwhile, the selected Glasgow team remains largely unchanged from the one which secured a 34-20 victory over the Scarlets.
However, a squad rotation sees Graeme Morrison make way for Andrew Henderson at inside centre, while the injured Dan Parks (knee) is replaced by Colin Gregor.
Glasgow coach Sean Lineen said: "Andrew (Henderson) is an international 12 and is champing at the bit to play, I'd be a fool not to rotate the squad and give the guy a chance.
"Graeme played very well against the Scarlets last week and now it's up to Andy to show us what he's got.
"Dan could play if we were really desperate but we have options that allow us to leave him out.
"Colin Gregor's done well against Munster in the past, he's a skilled footballer and I like the way he plays.
"If he gets the support from the players around him and he manages to make good decisions under real pressure then I think he could have a cracking game."
MUNSTER: Keith Earls; Doug Howlett, Barry Murphy, Rua Tipoki, Anthony Horgan, Ronan O'Gara, Peter Stringer; Marcus Horan, Frankie Sheahan, John Hayes, Paul O'Connell (capt), Donncha O'Callaghan, Alan Quinlan, Justin Melck, David Wallace.
Replacements: Denis Fogarty, Tony Buckley, Mick O'Driscoll, Niall Ronan, Mike Prendergast, Paul Warwick, Kieran Lewis.
GLASGOW WARRIORS: Bernardo Stortoni; Lome Fa'atau, Max Evans, Andrew Henderson, Thom Evans; Colin Gregor, Mark McMillan; Justin Va'a, Dougie Hall, Moray Low, Opeta Palepoi, Alastair Kellock (capt), Kelly Brown, John Barclay, John Beattie.
Replacements: Kevin Tkachuk, Ed Kalman, Tim Barker, Stevie Swindall, Ruaridh Jackson, Graeme Morrison, Hefin O'Hare.
Referee: Andrew Small (England) Assistant Referees: David Keane, Richard Kerr (both Ireland) Television Match Official: Brian Fitzgerald (Ireland)
Say What: Alan Quinlan (Munster) - "Its always frustrating, not just for me, for any of us, when we're recovering from injury, looking on from the stands.
"I suppose I've had my share of injury but it's a question of putting it behind you and not let it get you down.
"Last Sunday, coming on against Leinster, went great from that point of view and I felt grand after so I'm delighted to be getting a start (tomorrow) particularly when you see how well the lads are going.
"The new Thomond Park is a smashing stadium and fair play to the stadium committee, to Hegartys, to Garrett Fitzgerald, Pat Whelan, and all who were involved in driving it on, bringing it in on time.
"When you consider the size of the job, the weather we've had the past year, it's a fabulous achievement when you think about it.
"People can't wait for tomorrow night. From the team's point of view we need to divorce ourselves to some extent from that.
"I know we have to enjoy the occasion, of course we do, but we have an important game to play and a responsibility.
"We've made a good start to the season. But that's all we've done. As the old cliche goes there are no trophies handed out in October.
"We are also mindful of our recent record against Glasgow and that hasn't been good to say the least. We need to address that.
"So being totally honest about it, what tomorrow is all about for me and for the team, is the 80 minutes plus whatever of the match itself and the Magners League points that are on offer."
Sean Lineen (Glasgow Warriors) - "If Munster get some momentum they are very difficult to beat, they have quality players and they are very strong so we have to make sure we look after the ball, tackle hard and make sure we're not intimidated.
"Contact is going to be a big area for us. They had a game against Leinster on Sunday that was a real gladiatorial battle and Munster finally wore them down in about the 74th minute.
"We've got to go right to the end, right to the final whistle, and we've got to front up."
Top Scorers:2008/09 Magners League - Points: Munster: Ronan O'Gara 26; Glasgow Warriors: Thom Evans 25; Tries: Munster: Keith Earls 4; Glasgow Warriors: Thom Evans 5.
RECENT LEAGUE MEETINGS:
Saturday, September 17, 2005 - Glasgow Warriors 32 Munster 10, Hughenden Saturday, February 18, 2006 - Munster 20 Glasgow Warriors 26, Thomond Park Friday, September 15, 2006 - Glasgow Warriors 24 Munster 13, Hughenden Saturday, May 12, 2007 - Munster 38 Glasgow Warriors 20, Musgrave Park Friday, October 26, 2007 - Glasgow Warriors 11 Munster 11, Firhill Arena Saturday, May 10, 2008 - Munster 18 Glasgow Warriors 21, Musgrave Park
- Munster are the only unbeaten team left in the Magners League this season
- This weekend they return to the impressive newly-revamped Thomond Park Stadium for the first time in the Magners League since December 2006
- Munster's only home defeat in their last eight matches in all competitions was a 21-18 reversal to Glasgow in Cork on May 10 last
- Glasgow Warriors recorded a 34-20 win at home to the Scarlets last Friday and have won three of their last four away matches
- The Warriors won twice in Ireland last season - they beat Ulster 35-24 at Ravenhill and overcame Munster by 21-18 at Musgrave Park
- Munster's only win in their last six matches against Glasgow was a 38-20 success in Cork on May 12, 2007