Munster will be without Keith Earls and Wian du Preez for this weekend's Heineken Cup opener away to Racing Metro.

Earls will be absent for at least three weeks with a thigh strain, after he saw a specialist on Wednesday.

Du Preez is sidelined with a knee injury, with David Kilcoyne likely to take his place.

Niall Ronan, who was a late withdrawal from the squad for the Leinster game, did train on Wednesday but didn't take a full part and will miss the trip to France

Better news for the province is that Donncha O'Callaghan continues to recover from a hamstring injury and will be available for selection.

Felix Jones is in line for a return to the side despite not being involved in any competitive action so far this season.