MUNSTER are gearing up to make a very rare Friday night European Cup competition appearance at Thomond Park.
The team, on a high from last gasp heroics against Sale in the new look European Rugby Champions Cup, face the might of Saracens at 7.45pm.
Thomond Park is set to be a sell-out, with the excitement building all week in Limerick. An air of apprehension hangs heavy over the team however, given Saracens standing near the top of the Aviva Premiership.
Happily for the local economy, a Friday night match will offer a huge boost to hoteliers, restaurant and bar owners, and Munster Rugby this week reported their hopeful expectation of “going close to or selling out” the stadium.
However, just 217 tickets were taken up by Saracens from their allocation from Munster. The win last Saturday, a last minute drop goal by outhalf Ian Keatley, did cause a ripple effect on tickets, with the province reporting a ten fold increase in sales on the previous day 12 months ago after the victory, selling 1,000 tickets.
Munster have lost their opening pool games in Europe two years on the trot, so the victory - unlikely at half time - has helped cause an increase both in attendance and expectation ahead of tonight.
The province face no major injury worries for the game, which is only available on BT Sport, and have form on their side, having only ever lost two previous European games in their Thomond Park fortress.