After four rounds of the Guinness PRO14, you get the sense that we’re moving into the first serious part of the season.
Munster are currently three wins from four, their first defeat of the campaign came last weekend when they were dispatched by the Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun with ease.
Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, resisted the urge to start his Lions contingent in that game and the inexperience from his Munster side certainly showed as they failed to get the grips with the Warriors and ultimately fell to a 37-10 defeat.
All the talk this week has been of parking that defeat and moving on, and Munster are in a good position to do so as they welcome back Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Conor Murray in their starting XV to face the Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park on Saturday afternoon.
This is the beginning of a crucial block of games for the southern province – after this weekend’s clash they face their rivals Leinster at the Aviva Stadium before back-to-back Champions Cup games against Castres and Racing 92.
Team | Lions trio are back, Hanrahan set for return, Flanagan in line for debut
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) September 29, 2017
Ian Keatley takes the out-half duties from Tyler Bleyendaal and the bench also sees the return of JJ Hanrahan who could be in like to make his first appearance for the club since his return from the Aviva Premiership.
Kickoff against the Cardiff Blues is at 13.30 on Saturday afternoon.