Rassie Erasmus’ Munster head into their crucial Champions Cup clash with Leicester Tigers in a rich vein of form.
This is the best that the province has played in a number of years and head into the game believing that qualifying for the knockout stages is a real possibility.
A win over the two time European champions would put Munster in a good place after two games of this season’s competition.
The Tigers have had a mixed season so far but will be focused on continuing their admirable recent record over Munster.
Richard Cockerill’s outfit beat Munster twice in last season’s Champions Cup and he will be full intent on repeating the trick this time around.
One of the most impressive things that has helped Munster this season is how a number of players have stepped up to the mark.
Darren Sweetnam, Ronan O’Mahony and Robin Copeland are among those who have massively impressed in recent weeks and will be hoping to be part of the 23-man squad that faces Leicester.
The competition for places within Erasmus’ squad is fierce due the standout performances and this only bodes well for the rest of the season and beyond.
Munster’s international contingent will also return to the fold for the Champions Cup clash and will be full of confidence after their November exploits.
Conor Murray enhanced his reputation as arguably the in-form scrum half in world rugby while Keith Earls and Simon Zebo return after excellent performances in Ireland’s final November international against Australia.
Peter O’Mahony is likely to have been frustrated with his lack of game time but his cameo against the Wallabies showed that his form is returning.
Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland, John Ryan and Rory Scannell will also have benefitted greatly for their time with Joe Schmidt’s squad.
Munster will be looking to gain parity with a strong Tigers front row but Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan will be looking forward to the challenge.
If Munster can match Leicester in the pack, it could be a special night for The Red Army and their fans at Thomond Park.