Things are going from bad to worse for Tomás O'Leary who has been withdrawn from the Munster squad to face Newport-Gwent Dragons at Musgrave Park on Saturday (7.45pm) because he is still suffering from lower back trouble.
Having been unexpectedly omitted from Declan Kidney’s 30 man World Cup squad, O’Leary had readjust his focus on domestic rugby with Munster but the reoccurrence of his back problem means the scrumhalf will be out of action altogether this weekend.
The CBC graduate was initially named on the bench with Peter Stringer starting in the number 9 jersey but Duncan Williams will now be among the replacements as cover.
Coach Tony McGahan has stressed the importance of home victories as the defending champions open the new Celtic League Pro 12 campaign.
"Everything you do in pre-season (games) from our perspective is building towards the first game and then get a result,” he said today.
"We haven't been playing for points the last three weeks, this weekend we are. We've had a good start to our domestic campaigns over the last period of time.
"We're at home first up so you really need to be winning your home games and for us, that starts this weekend."
Dragons coach Darren Edwards has given debuts to new signings Tom Brown and Joe Bedford.
Fellow newcomers Rhys Buckley and Nathan Williams are likely to make their competitive bows off the bench.
Munster: J Murphy; D Howlett, D Barnes, L Mafi, D Hurley; I Keatley, P Stringer; M Horan, M Sherry, S Archer; B Holland, M O’Driscoll; P O’Mahony, N Ronan, J Coughlan.
Replacements: D Varley, W Du Preez, J Hayes, D Foley, T O’Donnell, T O’Leary, S Deasy, S Zebo.
Newport Gwent Dragons: S Jones; A Hughes, T Riley, A Smith, M Poole; J Tovey, J Bedford; P Price, T Willis, B Castle; A Jones, R Sidoli; A Coombs, G Thomas, T Brown.
Replacements: R Buckley, N Williams, D Way, J Groves, H Ellis, W Evans, P Leach, M Thomas.
Referee: S Penne (Italy).