THE KEY BATTLE
Published 18/12/2010 | 05:00
Tommy Bowe v
In what may be a preliminary joust for the long-term audition to replace Brian O'Driscoll in the Irish No 13 jersey, this midfield clash of two scintillating talents could prove crucial.
The Ospreys know that they need to score tries and shifting the largely anonymous Bowe infield, where he has had occasional experience in the past, will be a litmus test of their chances.
Earls' defence has stood up to the test in the midfield, although he was physically pressured by the Ospreys back-row last weekend.
The battle between this pair will offer a fascinating subtext, with whoever prevails likely to find themselves on the winning side.
Ospreys are 10/11 favourites to prevail by five points, a margin which would ensure that Munster earn a valuable losing bonus point.
100 Ryan Jones' total of Ospreys caps hits the three-figure mark today.