Former Munster flanker David Wallace believes that neither Munster nor Leicester Tigers will be daunted by the prospect of away games ahead of the back-to-back clashes over the festive period.
Speaking on Munster Rugby’s ‘Crooked Feed’ podcast with injured front-row Duncan Casey, Wallace believes that the similarities between Thomond Park and Welford Road - two renowned fortresses in European rugby - mean home advantage will count for very little in both fixtures.
Wallace said: "It (Welford Road) is certainly a fantastic place to go to play. They have knowledgeable and passionate supporters, very similar to Munster’s. It has helped both teams win away because they’re used to playing in that environment.
"When Munster play away in Welford Road and Leicester come to Thomond Park, they relish that cauldron atmosphere and it isn’t as off-putting as it might be for other teams.
"I think maybe that’s why Munster can perform over there and Leicester can perform over here. They won’t be daunted by the crowd, as such."
The Lions openside flanker is confident Munster can bolster their run of good form by claiming their first Round 3 victory since playing Perpignan in 2013.
He said: "It’s chalk and cheese where Munster is at the moment (compared to last year). They have massive momentum with six impressive wins on the trot. It speaks volumes of their form when Ian Keatley can slot a drop goal when the chips are down and grind out a win.
"Hopefully Munster will have more momentum. They have been very impressive since the sad passing of Anthony and that has been the catalyst to push themselves. They’re realising how good they were and the Glasgow game forced them to play above where they perceive themselves to be.
"When you have the whole team doing that, guys feeding into that confidence and pushing themselves, not settling for low standards, that can be powerful and potent. .
Wallace is also relishing the battle between the two scrum-halves.
He said: "The battle between the nines will be fascinating. Youngs and Murray going toe to toe and they’ll both be picked for the Lions tour and be going toe to toe for the test spot too.
"Prior to that they will be coming toe to toe in what could be the game of the Six Nations last game. That will be massive and they’ll be the two lynchpins in both sides."
He added: 2There should be some great one-on-ones. Manu Tuilagi and Jaco Taute running at each other will be fairly seismic. All through it there are going to be fascinating little sub-plots."