Games between Munster and Scarlets are always close run affairs. Last time the sides met here in Musgrave Park, there was just a point separating them at the end and all the evidence suggests tonight’s affair will go right down to the wire.
Scarlets record against Munster may not be great in recent times but here in November last year it needed a last ditch Denis Hurley tackle to deny Morgan Stoddart and twelve months prior, Munster had to withstand a grandstand Scarlets before claiming the spoils.
Stoddart of course is missing from the Scarlets line-up and from the Welsh RWC squad after sadly sustaining a broken leg against England in the August internationals but Hurley comes back into the Munster side after tweaking a hamstring in the RaboDirect PRO12 opener against Dragons.
Hurley is one of five changes Tony McGahan makes to the side with Tom Gleeson in for the injured Danny Barnes while the other forced change sees Mike Sherry come into the front row between the experienced Marcus Horan and John Hayes, in place of Damien Varley who should be arriving in Auckland Airport soon before kick off.
Other than that it a question of player rotation, Marcus Horan starting ahead of Wian du Preez on this ocasion and Dave Foley in for Billy Holland who's on the bench.
Both sides mix youth with experience, Scarlets have 19 year old Dale Ford at full back and Welsh U20 hooker Kirby Myhill at hooker but both sides retain their back rows from last weekend and this is an area that will have a huge influence.
So too will the half-back pairing, Ruki Tipuna making just his second appearance for Scarlets alongside Dan Newton against Ian Keatley, who was on fire last weekend in Glasgow, and Peter Stringer, Munster's most capped player who this evening wins his 220th competitive cap.
Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, T Gleeson, L Mafi, D Hurley; I Keatley, P Stringer; M Horan, M Sherry, J Hayes; D Foley, M O'Driscoll; P O'Mahony (c), N Ronan, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Fogarty, W du Preez, BJ Botha, B Holland, T O'Donnell, D Williams, S Deasy, S Zebo.
Scarlets: D Ford; L Williams, R Gomer Davies, G Maule, A Fenby; D Newton, R Tipuna; I Thomas (c), K Myhill, R Thomas, L Reed, D Day, R McCusker, J Turnbull, B Morgan. Replacements: E Phillips, P John, R Jones, A Shingler, J Edwards, G Davies, A Thomas, L Rees.
Referee: A Macpherson (SRU).