With Munster and Leinster sitting pretty in first and second in the Pro12 table, each club has this afternoon announced their respective line-ups for Monday’s crunch matchup at Thomond Park.
Leo Cullen rings the changes for his Leinster side, with ten new faces stepping in.
Zane Kirchner, Robbie Henshaw, Ross Byrne and Isa Nacewa maintain their places among the backs, with captain Nacewa switching to the right wing in the only positional change of the four.
Rory O’Loughlin steps into the centre to partner Henshaw, while Barry Daly takes his place on the right wing.
Finally, Jamison Gibson-Park will partner Ross Byrne at half-back.
It is all change amongst the forwards, with Tadhg Furlong the lone survivor from last weekend’s Champions Cup game with Northampton.
Cian Healy and James Treacy join Furlong in the front row.
Ross Molony and Mike McCarthy come in in place of Devin Toner and Hayden Triggs in the second row, while Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan round out the starting XV.
15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Isa Nacewa (c), 13. Rory O’Loughlin, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. Barry Daly, 10. Ross Byrne, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park; 1. Cian Healy, 2. James Tracy, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 4. Ross Molony, 5. Mike McCarthy, 6. Rhys Ruddock, 7. Dan Leavy, 8. Jack Conan.
Replacements: 16. Richardt Strauss, 17. Peter Dooley, 18. Michael Bent, 19. Ian Nagle, 20. Dominic Ryan, 21. Charlie Rock, 22. Noel Reid, 23. Tom Daly
Rassie Erasmus, meanwhile, has decided on just three changes to the Munster side that narrowly lost out to Leicester last weekend.
Ronan O’Mahony steps in for Keith Earls in the only change amongst the backs.
Elsewhere, James Cronin and Jean Kleyn come into the front and second rows respectively for the only other changes to the team.
The remainder of the starting XV sees Simon Zebo continue at full-back, with Darren Sweetnam on the right wing.
Jaco Taute and Rory Scannell make up the centre pairing of Erasmus’ team, while Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal continue at half-back.
The forwards see Cronin joined in the front row by Niall Scannell and John Ryan, as the incoming Kleyn is partnered by Donnacha Ryan in the second row.
Finally, the back-row consists of captain Peter O’Mahony, Tommy O’Donnell and CJ Stander.
Kiwi Francis Saili, meanwhile, is on the bench for the first time this season.
15. Simon Zebo, 14. Darren Sweetnam, 13. Jaco Taute, 12. Rory Scannell, 11. Ronan O’Mahony, 10. Tyler Bleyendaal, 9. Conor Murray, 1. James Cronin, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. John Ryan, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. Donnacha Ryan, 6. Peter O’Mahony (c), 7. Tommy O’Donnell, 8. CJ Stander.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Francis Saili, Andrew Conway
Munster vs Leinster will take place on Monday 26th of December at 5.45pm.
Coverage will be broadcast live on both TG4 and Sky Sports 2.