That paves the way for Munster stalwart Mick O'Driscoll to come into the second-row to form a partnership alongside Donncha O'Callaghan.
Yet O'Connell's unavailability is practically the sole piece of bad news coach Tony McGahan has had to contend with on the injuries front with Irish international Keith Earls along with fellow backs Doug Howlett and Ian Dowling all included in the Munster squad.
No.8 Nick Williams also passed a fitness test to be included in the 26-man squad and McGahan maintains he was not tempted to risk O'Connell.
He said: "Paul hasn't played for us since January, so it's a fair block of time since he's trained with us or been anywhere near us on the training pitch. We're well and truly comfortable with that.
"It's been a long saga since the Six Nations. We tried a number of the remedies and recommendations but at this stage he was too far gone.
"I said after the Ospreys game to Paul that the priority was to train. But he could not participate yesterday afternoon.
"For this particular week he's just not ready. To be out for that length of time he needs to have trained and next week's game is on a Sunday so that means he won't train again until next Wednesday."