The former Ireland coach casts his eye over the opening games for the Irish provinces, with the defending champions Leinster at home to Wasps.

FRIDAY 12 OCTOBER

Leinster v Wasps, 7.45, RDS

I expect Leinster to win for a number of reasons. They are still the best team in the tournament and Wasps are on bad run at the moment in the Premiership. They have lost Nathan Hughes to a suspension.

Okay, you should never take anything for granted in Europe but Leinster will have enough to get the job done.  It mightn’t be as easy as people expect, Wasp are still a decent side.

A lot of teams come to Dublin to play Leinster with a little bit of fear, thinking that if they get it wrong they can get badly beaten. That factor should stiffen Wasps’ resolve to make it a competitive affair.

SATURDAY 13 OCTOBER

Exter v Munster, 3.15

Conor Murray recently signed a contract extension with Munster

Exeter are one of the best teams in England. For Munster to get a bonus point would be an excellent return in what will be a tough assignment for them.

Munster, I think, don’t know exactly where they are at  themselves at the moment – home form has been good, but way from home, admittedly against stiff opposition, they have not always impressed. 

Exeter have a few injuries in their ranks but that said the visitors will be doing well to ge tthe win.

Ulster v Leicester, Kingspan Stadium, 5.30

In fairness to Ulster, they have had numerous injuries to contend with. They have struggled of late after a fair beating from Munster and then Connacht ending their long wait for an away win against them last week.

Some of their key guys will help them as they do need to get a result in the wake of the tide turning against them in recent weeks.

I think they’ll get the job done but it will be tight enough for them.  At home in Kingspan with their backs to the wall should inspire them to get early points on the board before their difficult trip to Paris next week. 

Eddie O'Sullivan was speaking on RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland. 

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