Munster have made three changes from their most recent Champions Cup side, while opponents Saracens have left a host of their front-rank stars at home as the sides clash in Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off at 5.30pm).

For Munster, all three alterations are in the pack with both props replaced, James Cronin and Stephen Archer coming in for Jeremy Loughman and John Ryan.

In the second row, Billy Holland joins Jean Kleyn with Tadhg Beirne is shifted across to the back-row, Jack O'Donoghue making way. 

The backline retains a familiar look.

Mike Haley, Andrew Conway and Keith Earls form the back three combination with Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell renewing their centre partnership. Conor Murray and JJ Hanrahan are named in the half-backs. 

Nick McCarthy is named among the replacements and is set to make his first Champions Cup appearance for Munster.

The defending champions have rotated their squad heavily and appear a far less intimidating prospect than the side which dispatched Munster in last season's semi-final in the Ricoh Arena. 

With the club still coping with the fallout from the 35-point Premiership deduction and prioritising their position in the English top league, director of rugby Mark McCall has picked an under-strength side. 

Owen Farrell, George Kruis, Elliot Daly, Liam Williams, Billy and Mako Vunipola have all been left at home as the reigning champions head for Limerick. 

In total, just seven of those who started last year's Champions Cup final are named to start against Munster, with Maro Itoje the most high-profile figure to take the field this weekend at Thomond. 

Munster: Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland; Tadhg Beirne, Peter O'Mahony (C), CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, John Ryan, Fineen Wycherley, Jack O’Donoghue, Nick McCarthy, Sammy Arnold, Arno Botha.

Saracens: Matt Gallagher; Rotimi Segun, Alex Lozowski, Brad Barritt (c), Alex Lewington; Manu Vunipola, Ben Spencer; Richard Barrington, Jack Singleton, Titi Lamositele; Will Skelton, Maro Itoje; Nick Isiekew, Ben Earl, Jackson Wray. 

Replacements: Kapeli Pifeleti, Rhys Carre, Josh Ibuanokpe, Joel Kpoku, Sean Reffell, Tom Whiteley, Max Malins, Nick Tompkins.

Listen to live commentary of Ulster v Harlequins (3.15pm) & Munster v Saracens (5.30pm) on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport