Munster out-half Ian Keatley is looking forward to taking on former team-mate Donnacha Ryan in the Champions Cup this weekend and believes discipline is key to forging victory in Paris.
The two-time European champions take on Racing 92 on Sunday (kick-off 3.15pm) for the first Champions Cup fixture at the brand new U Arena.
With three wins from four thus far, a win in the French capital would see Johann van Graan’s side through to the knockout stage for a record 17th time.
Key to the foundations of an away win is discipline, an area of concern for Munster at times this season.
Ten penalties were conceded in the inter-provincial defeat to Leinster back in October, while festive losses to Leinster and Ulster witnessed further indiscretions, including a straight red to Sam Arnold at the Kingspan Stadium.
A win over Connacht last time out steadied the Pro14 ship somewhat and Keatley says the players are trying to improve that area of their game.
"Against Leinster, Leicester away, Connacht we gave away penalties in the first two minutes," he told RTÉ Sport.
"We’ve talked about it already about our discipline. If we can sort our discipline out and stop giving teams cheap opportunities to get into our 22 or kick points, I think we will be way more effective.
"I think it’s a focus for us this week."
Matthew Carley will officiate the Pool 4 clash this weekend and the Ireland international is hopeful they can silence the home crowd by imposing their own game plan and maintaining discipline.
"Their crowd get into it when they get penalties their maul going, line breaks, offloads.
"It’s up to us to stop that momentum and just try to keep the game at the pace we want to play it."
The connection between the two clubs remains strong. Ronan O’Gara recently ended his tenure at the club while ex-Munster man Casey Laulala is now the club’s skills coach following the departure of O’Gara to the Crusaders.
On the pitch too there will be another association with Donnacha Ryan likely to pack down against his native province.
"It’s going to be great to play Donnacha again. I’m sure he is loving it over there"
The 34-year-old missed out on the Thomond Park encounter in October through injury, but has begun to establish himself at the 2016 Top 14 champions and Keatley insists the reunion won’t be a distraction to those involved.
"Things have moved on [since Ryan left Munster].. We have a new head coach now.
"It’s going to be great to play Donnacha again. I’m sure he is loving it over there. It’s not going to affect us that much.
"We just have to concentrate on our own game."
Meanwhile, Munster have announced that Billy Holland, Stephen Archer and Kevin O’Byrne have signed contract extensions that will see them remain at the province until 2020.
Academy prop Liam O’Connor, who is currently rehabbing a long-term knee injury sustained against Ospreys, will advance to a two-year senior contract at the start of the 2018/19 season.
Listen to live and exclusive radio commentary of Ulster v La Rochelle (Saturday 1pm) and Racing v Munster (Sunday 3.15pm) on RTÉ Radio 1.