New Munster skipper Peter O'Mahony sees the impending derby with Leinster as perfect preparation for the upcoming Heineken Cup.
Having led Ireland in their June Test wins in North America, O'Mahony is set to prove a key protagonist for club and country this season.
While Munster claimed their third league title three seasons ago, Leinster's Challenge Cup-Pro12 double was a reminder they remain in the pound seats in terms of the club's current rivalry.
Munster have been pooled with Edinburgh, Gloucester and Perpignan, whilst three-time champions Leinster will battle in their pool with the Ospreys, Northampton Saints and Castres.
"I'd say last season's game at Thomond (Park) was the most physical game I've played all year and they're always a great barometer of where you stand before you get stuck into the Heineken (Cup)" O'Mahony said.
"It's one players and supporters love as much, it's a big game for both clubs, their supporters, and it's a great spectacle of rugby most of the time" he added.