Munster fly-half Ian Keatley believes their trip to the Sportsground to face Connacht on New Year’s Day is set to be a difficult challenge.
The former Connacht number ten, who has impressed in red this season, helped Munster beat Leinster 28-13 last week to end 2014 strongly.
But with the Galway outfit not having been defeated on home soil this term, the 27-year-old has warned his team-mates to expect a tough game.
“I’m looking forward to going back to where it all really started for me”, Keatley told the Irish Examiner.
“They haven’t been beaten at the Sportsground this year. These inter-provincial matches are huge, not just for Connacht, but massive for us as well and also for Leinster and Ulster.
“They give you the chance to go against people who are vying for your place with Ireland, a lot of bragging rights up for grabs and more importantly, four points up for grabs.
“Connacht do step things up against Munster of all teams. I was playing the last time they beat Munster – there weren’t any tries and I kicked four penalties in a 12-6 result. I know what it means to them but I also know what it means to Munster to take on Connacht in the Sportsground.
“I remember when I was there, Connacht were talking about building a legacy. They have really stepped it up this year, unbeaten at home in the league is a great record, and goes to show how strong they are.”