Best of the West
Hugely powerful inside-centre who has played a lead role so far this season, mixes brawn with the ability to find and exploit gaps.
Superb start to his second stint with Connacht was spoiled by a knee injury but expected to return to full fitness over the next couple of weeks. An inspirational figure at No 8.
Rodney Ah You
Still a baby in propping terms but a player with massive, destructive potential -- as he showed when helping to dismantle the Ireland scrum in August.
The captaincy has passed to Gavin Duffy, but Muldoon remains a leading personality in the Connacht back-row. After years trying to get there, the Portumna man will relish the opportunity to perform on the Heineken Cup stage.
Irish-qualified South African whose scrummaging power could propel him up the international ladder this season.
Super form last season earned McCarthy his first Ireland cap in August and he has made a good start to the new campaign -- key provider of possession out of touch.