Shaun Payne is expecting a tough test for Munster at Connacht
Munster team manager Shaun Payne maintains the Heineken Cup semi-final against Biarritz has to take priority over their Magners League trip to Irish rivals Connacht.
Nearly all of the Munster's RBS 6 Nations contingent have been wrapped up in cotton wool ahead of their crucial trip to the south of France.
In their place are a combination of squad and academy players will start at the Sportsground but with a Magners League play-off place far from secure, Payne maintains the stand-ins will still be expected to deliver.
He said: "There's three games left in the competition and we can't afford to be dropping any points at this stage.
"It's Connacht at The Sportsground. Every year it's a very close game and obviously we came a cropper last year.
"We won the game last weekend so we've a semi final coming up and whatever happens after that.
"There are vital League games to follow this one and obviously with a challenge like this, the temptation is to pick your frontline team. But we have to take cognisance of what lies ahead and plan accordingly.
"This is a vital game. Every single game at this stage of the competition is a vital game. But this one first and it is a question of balancing the books."
Wales' acting head coach Rob Howley has given Sam Davies and Rory Thornton a boost ahead of the RBS 6 Nations by naming the uncapped Ospreys duo in his largely experienced squad for the Autumn Internationals.