Munster take to the road for the first time this season determined to right some wrongs from last season’s dismal form that saw them win just twice away from home.
And they're up against an Edinburgh side who themselves probably view this as a 'must win' game following on from that defeat last time out in Cardiff and two reversals in their pre-season games. In fact, added to their poor end of season form, Edinburgh now find themselves subject to the same type of criticism Munster experienced last season even though they've only played one competitive game this term.
Assistant coach, Ausssie Nick Scrivener, refuses to panic and believes his squad are heading in the right direction. Speaking today in The Scotsman newspaper, Scrivener says, “I thought that for long periods of that game (Cardiff) our structure was good, but there was a couple of crucial turnovers, we lost a try to a driving maul and then there was a 90 metre breakaway score at the end when we were chasing the game. So there is nothing wrong with what we are trying to do, but we need to tighten up the accuracy – and that will come.”
Nor does he believe that it shouldn't come this evening just because it's Munster who have come calling. ” Munster are definitely one of the big sides in European rugby,”says Scrivener.
“But we beat them at Murrayfield last year, and you only need to look at Connacht's victory over the Dragons last week to see that reputations count for very little in this league. There is no reason why we should regard any side as a particularly tough or a particularly easy team to get our show on the road against,”
“The strength of Munster rugby is that when they knuckle down and get in your 22, they are extremely hard to cope with. There is definitely less mystery about how Munster are going to play compared to most other teams, but as we have said to the guys all week: it is one thing knowing about it, it is another thing dealing with it.”
For their part Munster will be looking to build on that opening day victory over Aironi and just as importantly kick start their away campaign. They've made just onechange in personnel with Alan Quinlan drafted back into the starting XV in place of Billy Holland who will feature in Munster's A game tomorrow.
They have a particularly formidable looking bench that includes Marcus Horan, John Hayes, Donncha O'Callaghan, Tomas O'Leary and Ronan O'Gara all of whom can be expected to see game in what shouldbe an enthralling contest.
Munster: F Jones; D Howlett, J Murphy, S Tuitupou, I Dowling; P Warwick, P Stringer; W du Preez, D Varley, T Buckley; D Ryan, M O'Driscoll; A Quinlan, N Ronan, D Leamy capt. Replacements: D Fogarty, M Horan, J hayes, D O'Callaghan, P O'Mahony, T O'Leary, R O'Gara, D Barnes.
Edinburgh: C Paterson; M Robertson, B Cairns, A Grove, T Visser; P Godman, M Blair; A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross; E Lozada, S MacLeod; S Newland, R Rennie, N Talei. Replacements: A Kelly, K Traynor, J Gilding, F McKenzie, S McInally, G Laidlaw, D Blair, J Houston.