Chris Farrell hailed his new team-mate Damian De Allende as Munster prepare to unleash their World Cup winning duo in the Guinness Pro 14 clash against Leinster in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. 

The shortened competition restarts on Friday with teams playing two rounds of national derbies in the final two weekends of August. After that, the top two teams in each Conference will progress to the semi-finals.

Munster have added substantially to their squad in 2019-20 with ex-Saracens player Matt Gallagher and former Leinster prop Roman Salanoa joining the much vaunted Springbok pair of Snyman and de Allende in the Munster ranks. 

Head coach Johann Van Graan confirmed that the World Cup winning duo will be available for selection at the weekend though he did caution that it could take them a while to adjust. 

"They are available for selection. We still have a few training sessions left this week. Obviously, we didn't have all the training sessions last week. Like all the other players, if they come through the training sessions this week, they will be eligible for selection on Saturday evening. 

RG Snyman with the Webb Ellis trophy

"If you look at the Super Rugby games and the Premiership games recently, all the first games were stop-start affairs. Hopefully, we'll hit the ground running but it'll take time for those four gentlemen to bed in.

"We're looking to improve our squad year on year so it's very exciting to have four players of the calibre of those gentlemen coming in. We're looking forward to seeing them in a Munster jersey."

The arrival of the experienced De Allende, who started every game in South Africa's World Cup winning campaign, bar the facile victory over Namibia in the final pool match, has inspired a particular buzz.

Though they've yet to play together competitively, his new centre partner Chris Farrell is especially excited by what's he's seen of him in training. 

"You can just see his quality straight away. He comes from a top, top pedigree. He's really calm on the ball and that's something I can learn from. He gives himself time, he gives himself space and he makes decision-making quite easy. 

"He's a really skilful player despite the perception he's a trucker. He's got a hell of a lot of skill." 

Munster's preparation for the Pro 14 finale was disrupted last week after an academy player tested positive for Covid-19. The player, who was asymptomatic, went into isolation and all his close contacts tested negative. No new positive tests were recorded after players were tested this week. 

Head coach Van Graan acknowledged it wasn't ideal but was relatively philosophical. 

"Last week on Tuesday was the last time we trained. Along with the other three provinces, we only had four weeks of contact training. We put the health and safety of our players first. . 

"The back end of last week didn't go to plan. We weren't in a position to train on Thursday and Friday and off the back of four weeks of contact (training) that's not ideal. But that's the cards we've been dealt. 

"We're excited to play. This is about much more than just a rugby game. It's important that sport gets going again. 

"We all have learned to adapt in the last six months. We had plans for a contact game on Thursday and obviously we needed to change all of that. I can't stress enough that this is not something that's just happening to Munster. It's happening all over the world. 

"The first priority is to make sure that everyone is well and safe. We were over-cautious with not only players but also staff as well. We can't control what's happened in the past."

Follow Leinster v Munster (7.35pm, Saturday) and Connacht v Ulster (4.30pm, Sunday) via our live blogs on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, or listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1