Two-time champions Munster began their pursuit of adding another title to their rich history with a trip to Northampton, who return to the competition after a two-year exile.

The Saints managed to deliver silverware following last season’s Challenge Cup final victory over Bourgoin at the Twickenham Stoop.

Both sides come into this mouth-watering tie at Franklins Gardens having lost in their respective leagues last weekend.

Munster will be smarting following their 30-0 whitewash to Irish rivals Leinster and the 2000 champions, who beat the Red Army 9-8 at Twickenham, should expect a backlash from Paul O’Connell and co.

Tony McGahan today named a 27 strong squad for Munter’s opening Heineken Cup game against Northampton Saints this Saturday in Franklins Gardens.

The squad came together this morning in Musgrave Park for a final training session before they depart for Northampton on Friday.
Tomas O’Leary spoke afterwards about his own recovery and the return to Heineken Cup action “ya I’m feeling good and have a few games under my belt now and I’m looking forward to Saturday. When I get out on the pitch it’s definitely not on my mind and I’m just concentrating on my game and forgetting about the injury, it’s great.”

“None of us played well against Leinster last weekend and we’ve addressed that now and there is no point dwelling on it. Saturday is the most important thing and getting off to a good start, the Heineken Cup is such a big part of our season. They’re a very formidable side with a great home record,a very good pack and halfbacks, with stong runners coming in off both wing. We cant dwell on them too much. We can only look after our own performance.”

Munster Squad: M Horan, J Brugnaut; T Buckley, D Hurley, D Ryan, D Fogarty, J Flannery, D O’Callaghan, M O’Driscoll, P O’Connell, D Ryan, D Leamy, N Ronan, D Wallace, N Williams, A Quinlan, T O’Leary,T Morland, P Stringer, R O’Gara, P Warwick, J de Villiers, L Mafi, D Howlett, I Dowling, D Hurley, K Earls.