Go into your local bookmaker this morning and you’ll find Leinster odds-on favourites to halt their losing run against Munster when they take them on in the RaboDirect PRO12 game tonight (8pm).
Last time they met was in the final of the then Magners League in Thomond Park Stadium last May when the freshly crowned Heineken Cup champions were denied a unique double by a Munster side who ended the game with a penalty try for a 19-9 victory.
Prior to that Munster edged the April meeting thanks to a late late Ronan O'Gara touchline penalty, but up to then it had been all Leinster in the clashes between the sides since Munster had done a League double over their great rivals in 2008/2009.
Leinster don't play too many games at the Aviva, their RDS ground more than adequate to cater for their supporters on a normal day but when Munster come to town it's a switch to HQ and this evening game will attract an international size capacity.
Both camps are quick to point up the game's relative importance to the upcoming Heineken Cup. The likes of Jamie Heaslip, Cian Healy & Sean O'Brien get their first outing since returning from New Zealand but Munster's contingent all saw game time last week in Musgrave Park.
So it could be argued, though the bookies aren't convinced, that Munster are in a slightly better state of readiness, though they still look to be trying out combinations particularly in the back-row. This game will certainly give Tony McGahan and his backroom team a better idea of where they're at ahead of the Heineken Cup.
There's been little to choose between these two in the past. Games between the sides take on a life of their own and have become one of the truly great occasions of Irish rugby.
This one will once again be more than well worth the entrance fee although the absence of Brian O'Driscoll robs it of one of the greats of the game and it's to be hoped he will be back in action soon.
Munster. J Murphy; D Howlett, W Chambers, L Mafi, K Earls; R O'Gara, C Murray; W du Preez, D Varley, BJ Botha; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell capt; D Ryan, N Ronan, D Leamy. Replacements. D Fogarty, M Horan, J Hayes, P O'Mahony, J Coughlan, T O'Leary, I Keatley, D Barnes.
Leinster: R Kearney; I Nacewa, F McFadden, G D'Arcy, L Fitzgerald; J Sexton, I Boss; C Healy, R Strauss, M Ross, L Cullen capt, D Toner, S O'Brien, S Jennings, J Heaslip. Replacements: S Cronin, H van der Merwe, J Hagan, K McLoughlin, R Ruddock, E Redden, I Madigan, E O'Malley.
Referee: P Gauzere (FFR)