Ireland coach Declan Kidney will be an avid observer of Munster's Heineken Cup clash with Northampton on Friday after prop Marcus Horan was named in the squad for the first time since October.
Horan has not played since Munster’s 41-10 Heineken Cup win over Treviso on October 17 but after treatment for a heart problem the 32-year-old is fit enough for a place on the bench.
The Munster prop – who turned out for Shannon in the All-Ireland league last weekend - was included in Kidney’s 44-man RBS 6 Nations squad this week ahead of their tournament kick off against Italy on February 6.
But before Horan can dream of 6 Nations glory the 32-year-old has Friday’s win-or-bust clash with Saints to contend with.
Northampton beat Munster 31-27 in the tournament opener at Franklin’s Gardens in October but the Irish side now lead Pool One by two points going into the all-important final pool game on Friday.
And there is more good news for Kidney ahead of the Italy clash with David Wallace returning to action for Munster after overcoming a calf strain.