Leinster and Connacht collide in a tasty pre-Christmas interprovincial cracker, with the hosts looking to avenge their defeat from earlier in the season and the westerners aiming to win in Dublin for the first time in 12 years.
Pat Lam has named his Connacht team to face Leinster at the RDS on Friday night in round 10 of the GUINNESS PRO12. Lock Aly Muldowney is the only survivor from the side that beat Bayonne 29-27 in France last weekend.
Munster have confirmed that backs Johnny Holland and Gerhard van den Heever are set for lengthy spells on the sidelines, while their Ireland international prop Dave Kilcoyne has been ruled out for a number of weeks.
I am delighted to extend a very Happy Christmas and safe and peaceful New Year to our extensive rugby family.
Christmas time marks a halfway point in the rugby season and while we can look back and be greatly sustained by events of 2014, I believe we can also look forward with due optimism to what awaits in 2015.
Ulster are guaranteed to have one representative in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup final on Saturday, January 31, after Bangor reached the decider for the first time thanks to a 9-6 victory over last year's runners-up Clogher Valley.
Following their 29-27 away win in the European Challenge Cup, Connacht's Bayonne conquerors returned to Galway on Sunday night and joined the other members of the squad for training this morning as attention turns to the upcoming GUINNESS PRO12 derby clash with Leinster.