Munster and Anthony Foley will go into their biggest games of the season without one of the star names.
he neck injury scrumhalf Conor Murray is suffering from will rule him out of tomorrow's clash with Saracens at Allianz Park and the final game of the Pool against Sale in Thomond Park next week.
Duncan Williams will start at nine for the province in Murray's absence.
It is a massive blow to Munster hopes, given Murray's excellent form this season for Munster and Ireland and his man-of-the-match display in the 14-3 win over the Sarries in October.
“[Murray] would be a huge lose,” Munster legend Keith Wood told Newstalk this morning. “An awful lot of Munster’s game is built on the control he shows at nine.
“He's taken an awful lot of pressure off [Ian] Keatley outside him by taking over a lot of the kicking game from ball in hand.
“If he doesn’t make the cut, I think Munster will suffer for it quite badly.”
Early indications suggest that Murray should be back in time for Ireland's Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome on February 7.
Williams has been in good form when filling in for Murray this season but will have to produce a big display tomorrow.
JJ Hanrahan is unlikely to start with Denis Hurley and Pat Howard expected to fill the centre berths.
It is not known whether Keith Earls or Andrew Conway will start on the wing.