Munster have been given a massive boost ahead of their Heineken Cup clash in Paris on Saturday with news that Paul O'Connell is fit to play his first game of the season.
Having shown no ill effects from a full training session on Wednesday, the veteran lock has been named in Munster's starting XV against Racing Metro at the Stade de France.
The 2009 British & Irish Lions captain will pack down with Billy Holland in the Munster second row for what will be his first game since 5 May. He will be making his 65th Heineken Cup appearance.
"We've always maintained that Paul would be back when he felt he was ready. I think it's great for us," said Munster coach Rob Penney.
"It's great for Irish rugby, for the rugby community, to see a player of his calibre back playing again. It was a gradual process but, in the interests of the player, it had to be."
Donncha O'Callaghan failed a fitness test on Thursday and will sit out this weekend, as will Springbok loose head prop Wian du Preez, who damaged his knee against Leinster last weekend.